Worries about security have forced the delay of Ingram Micro’s take over by a Chinese outfit.
Ingram says that the deal, which would see it part of the Tianjin Tianhai Investment Company is now being delayed until towards the end of the year
The first delay to the deal came last month when the Shanghai Stock Exchange sent a letter to Tianjin Tianhai asking for more details about the takeover. In that case the Exchange was worried about how the deal was being funded.
But now the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States wants to take a close look at the deal.
“Ingram Micro today announced that the End Date by which the acquisition of Ingram Micro by Tianjin Tianhai Investment Company must be completed has been extended to November 13, 2016,” Ingram said.
Despite the CFIUS activity the expectation from both Ingram and on the Chinese side is that the deal will still close this year.
However it might not be that easy. The US is getting increasingly concerned about the involvement of the Chinese in business. Earlier this week it became clear that the Chinese company that is one of the main investors in the Hinkley Point nuclear power station is facing charges of nuclear espionage in the US.
Ingram Micro has signed up for Microsoft’s Surface as a service programme and launching its own version.
Under the deal, the distributor will be able to offer resellers in the UK the chance to provide Surface and the Microsoft suite along with the chance to take advantage of leasing options that should make it an easier decision for users.
Brian Windsor, senior business manager for Microsoft at Ingram Micro, said that it would be able to lean on its knowledge of the vendor’s software and hardware products.
“This offering will permit our resellers to assist their customer’s transformation to digital with ease. What’s more, we have strived to build our leasing options with recurring business in mind in order to maintain longevity of customer investment for our resellers,” he said.
Microsoft launched the programme last month. The big idea was to expand the number of partners that would be offering the same managed services approach. It is open to Cloud Solution Providers who are authorised Surface distributors and provides a managed service offering that can be taken out through resellers to users.
At the time Vole said that the Surface was having a real impact in the business market and Surface business has grown from generating $1bn in revenue in a year to $1bn in revenue per quarter.
“With our growing portfolio, we are creating not just great devices, but breakthrough categories that open up a world of new opportunities for partners to build capabilities in new areas, and to create solutions and services for customers. This year, we are investing in programs that increase partner revenue and profitability,” he added.
Tech Data has said it is countering the slowdown in IT spending across Europe by kicking its rivals in the market share.
It did not say which rivals it has been targeting but it is pretty likely to be Ingram Micro. The results appear to have netted the outfit a a a general one percent rise in the first quarter.
The IT distie titan reported group sales of $6 billion. In the Americas that figure was $2.4 billion and a two percent rise . European sales were $3.6 billion and up one per cent.
CEO Bob Dutkovsky told analysts on a conference call that its teams made the most of “pockets of demand and delivered above market sales growth”.
Dutkovsky said that the cunning plan in the Americas was based around the “right mix of business, gained select market share” and “deselected less profitable business.” The US team has moved technical and field sales folk to higher growth areas of cloud, supply chain and unspecified services.
In Europe data centre related kit sales stumbled and there was a “sharp decline” in mobility products. Notebooks, tabs, software, consumer electronics and security business picked up the slack.
Tech Data isrumoured to be putting together a stand-alone security business unit across many ountries and it is believed to be centred in the UK.
Dutkovsky said it had swiped share from rivals but added that Dell opening up more business to the channel had helped and that market share gains don’t just come at the expense of the competitors.
He did not say if he was dancing on Ingram Micro’s grave. The outfit is being bought by Chinese conglomerate HNA Group and saw European sales which were pants.
Gross profit was $298.8 million which was $6.7 million higher than last year due to the sales increase. Gross margin was up by five basis points to 5.1 per cent and a richer mix of higher margin stuff was at play here.
Operating expenses jumped to $246 million from $209 million. This was helped by a $38.5 million settlement from LCD vendors for price fixing that was paid to Tech Data in the first quarter. This caused a drop in operating profits, which slipped to $52.5 million from $81.9 million.
Ingram Micro has announced an expanded distribution agreement with file sharing and collaboration outfit Dropbox.
The move will see it extending availability to channel partners across Europe, Australia, and New Zealand.
The scheme has been operating over the pond in the US and Canada. Ingram Micro said that the expanded agreement will make it the ‘premier distributor’ of Dropbox in the new regions.
Renee Bergeron, vice president, Global Cloud, Ingram Micro said that Dropbox is one of the most widely adopted collaboration platforms on the market, with unique business-focused capabilities that we expect will deliver significant value to our cloud portfolio and global partner community.
“Dropbox and Ingram Micro’s strengthened relationship reaffirms our joint commitment to meet the growing demands of channel partners and their customers for secure and controlled file sharing and collaboration environments. Through this expanded agreement, we will leverage our combined technical capabilities and expertise to build a value-added solution for strategic customer segments and vertical markets.”
Dropbox has been pushing into the enterprise market lately and Ingram Micro says that its channel partners will have greater cross-sell opportunities by attaching Dropbox to Microsoft Office 365 via Ingram Micro’s productivity suite.
A Chinese outfit has written a cheque for Ingram Micro for $6 billion.
Chinese aviation and shipping conglomerate HNA Group will buy the outfit so that it will become a subsidiary of Tianjin Tianha. Its HQ will remain where it is along with the firm’s executive management team will stay in place, with Alain Monié continuing as chief executive.
All Ingram Micro lines of business and all regional and country operations are “expected to continue unaffected”.
Adam Tan, CEO of HNA Group, stated: “Ingram Micro has clearly established itself as a leading distributor and global provider of IT products and services. The company has a proven and talented team and we believe Ingram Micro is unrivalled in its ability to offer industry-leading, differentiated and easy-to-manage solutions to vendor and customer partners worldwide. We look forward to supporting Ingram Micro’s management team and strategies, including continued expansion into new geographies, while also offering their vendor and customer partners access to new and complementary offerings.
Tan said that Ingram Micro would become the largest member enterprise of HNA Group in terms of revenue, and facilitate the internationalisation process of the group. With the help of Ingram Micro, HNA Group would have access to business opportunities in emerging markets, which have higher growth rates and better profitability. Furthermore, the addition of Ingram Micro would help the logistics sector of HNA Group transform from a logistics operator to a supply chain operator, and provide one-stop services while improving efficiencies.
Ingram Micro and cloud provider Outsourcery have conjured up a new cloud service designed specifically for Ingram Micro’s partners and customers.
Under the arrangement, Ingram Micro partners will sell Outsourcery’s hosted version of Microsoft Lync, with enterprise-grade services and unified functionality delivered from the cloud. Cloud computing is a relatively hot trend at the moment, but surveys reveal that almost a quarter of IT organisations are concerned about the lack of staff skills necessary to support cloud solutions. The partnership is supposed to address these concerns.
Apay Obang-Oyway, General Manager, Enterprise Software and Services at Ingram Micro commented: “We have created the Advanced Solutions Division to offer our channel partners a comprehensive approach for identifying and pursuing opportunities within advanced technology categories.
Obang-Oyway said the goal is to help partners grow and diversify while facilitating development in the channel.
“The successful model Outsourcery have already established complements these objectives so taking hosted cloud solutions to market together was the natural next step,” he concluded.
Ingram Micro has rolled out a new app designed to help Kiwi resellers respond more quickly to customer needs, while at the same time making their lives just a bit easier. The app is available for iOS and Android devices, no word on WP8 or BB10 support just yet.
The apps allow resellers to access Ingram’s e-commerce offering on the go, order products and track shipments in real time, browse products, compare prices and check availability. The app also features a few clever tricks borrowed from consumerish shopping apps. For example, users can scan a bar code using a smartphone camera and the app will check the product details and Ingram Micro’s stock information, reports Reseller NZ.
The apps can also be used to impress customers, by displaying the offer on mobile devices without revealing dealer pricing, which sounds a lot more convenient than doing it on a notebook.
Ingram Micro says it will continue to upgrade the app over the coming months, but so far feedback has been largely positive. Now all they have to do is roll out similar apps tailored for other regional or national markets.
Ingram Micro Mobility is looking into the possibility of launching its own MVNO, which could help it fuel further mobile growth in the UK. Ingram Micro’s UK and Ireland VP James Bannister told Mobile News that the company is actively looking for new ways to boost mobile revenue.
Bannister said the company would not try to become an established airtime distributor, but it would explore other airtime options, such as SIM packing and shipping phones with SIMs.
“We may launch an MVNO, but we will do it differently to our competitors, so watch this space is my message,” he said.
Bannister said he doesn’t see the assisted sales model as a big opportunity, as it assumes people can’t get access to the product, but that approach doesn’t work since most IT customers already have someone to take care of that.
He added that Ingram’s acquisition of BrightPoint was very positive for the company, as it brings a strong balance sheet and a long-term commitment to make the UK business into “something sexy”.
Earlier this month Ingram Micro announced plans to reshuffle its global management team. The changes are set to go into effect in August and they will see Gerhard Schulz promoted to senior executive vice president and president, Europe.
Schulz currently serves as senior vice president, central and eastern Europe and on Wednesday the company announced that he will be succeeded by Marcus Adae, the current sales chief of Ingram Germany.
Adae will head Ingram Micro’s DACHH region, which includes Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Hungary. He will report directly to Shulz.
In a deal which is aimed at expanding the availability for Pro AV, Commercial Connectivity gear, C2G has partnered with Ingram Micro UK.
C2G peddles high performance cabling and connectivity gear and the partnership is signed with Ingram Micro’s Pro AV Division in the UK.
Jamie Pratt, Managing Director for C2G said the company wants to reach out to the distribution channel’s customer base and give them access to benefits and offers on an extensive portfolio of cabling and connectivity products.
As part of the agreement, C2G will become the preferred cable and connectivity partner for Ingram Micro UK’s new venture into the Pro AV space.
Ingram Micro UK customers can access C2G’s full range through an online stock-checking, ordering, and management system. A targeted selection of C2G products will be stocked and available at Ingram Micro for those resellers who focus on professional audio/video applications and installations.
Pratt said that the deal will give C2G access to a growing number of resellers that are a part of the Ingram Micro community.
C2G launched its European operations in August 2008. Working through value-added distribution partnership with Ingram Micro, it has an extensive community of networking and audio-visual specialist partners in the UK and Europe.
Ingram Micro is reshuffling its executive leadership team and the changes will affect most markets and all continents. The changes will go into effect 1 August, apart from changes in Latin America, beginning in January 2014.
Ingram Micro CEO Alain Monie said the changes are designed to “take full advantage of the diverse and complementary experience, tenure and skill sets” of the company’s senior execs.
Ingram Micro has had gained another client Down Under, signing on the dotted line with communications company Jabra.
As part of the partnership Ingram Micro will be responsible for distributing the company’s range of call centre and office products within the Australian and New Zealand market.
This includes the recently launched Jabra Motion, which is designed to suit mobile workers with an everyday need for audio conferencing or hands-free calls, in the car or at home using smart devices.
Jabra says that Asia-Pacific is one of its fastest growing markets for unified communications products. It said it was critical for it to establish strong relationships with distributors across A/NZ that could add significant value to its proposition.
The company believes that its collaboration with Ingram Micro will also be beneficial in reaching a larger reseller database and in particular Cisco channels.
The company has also extended its support to its partner network with a launch of the Jabra Business Tool, an iPad sales app, which provides information on Jabra’s business services.