All things considered, Paul Bay picked a pretty good time to return to Ingram Micro.
Bay, who served with Ingram from 1995 to 2006, returned to the distributor five months ago to take up a new role as executive vice president of North America. Bay’s return comes as Ingram’s on a bit of a hot streak, having seen 19 per cent growth in Q2, and 30 per cent in Q2. The VentureTech community, meanwhile, has seen growth of 22 per cent over the last six months, he said. And of course, the distributor has plans in place that it believes will help continue that growth going forward. That plan was the focus of Bay’s presentation to members at the VTN Fall Invitational in San Francisco.
So what’s the plan? Find out after the jump.
According to Bay, the distributor has a three-pronged approach for continued growth.
- Excel: Put simply, Ingram Micro is seeking to continue to grow faster than the rate of the IT market in general. The other two prongs offer some key hints in how it intends to do that.
- Strengthen the business: particularly around high-growth opportunities and some of the “adjacencies” the distributors have invested in – data capture/point of sale and mobility, most notably.
- Develop: What comes next? Ingram is looking to parlay the success of its services and managed services businesses into a broader cloud and services story.
ChannelBuzz.ca sat down with Bay for a quick chat at the VTN Invitational. Here are some thoughts from our discussion:
- It appears to be a law that you can’t have a technology-related conference in 2010 without “the cloud” becoming the de jure or de facto hot topic. VTN was no exception, and Ingram appears to have big plans for its role in the space. Look no further than the distributor’s appoint of former Fujitsu exec (and Canadian) Renee Bergeron to lead its cloud and services charges as evidence. In fact, the distributor offered a preview of its upcoming plans for a cloud marketplace at VTN. Some guy called “Administrator” covered it here. Hmmmm… can’t shake the feeling that that’s a really familiar writing style.
- On the subject of the distributor’s role in a cloud world, Bay offers the following insight: “Everything we’ve done over the last thirty years with distribution, we’ll go to the same things for the cloud. We’ll put ourselves in the middle, help create connections and develop those annuity streams.”
- Bay’s advice to solution providers who haven’t made their cloud bets: Look at what the vendors are doing, and align closely with those whose models represent the best.
- While cloud gets all the headlines, the number one opportunity for both the distributor and its solution provider base continues to be on the services side, in Bay’s estimation. Look for Bergeron’s team to dig pretty deep into the types of services Ingram resellers are selling, as well as those they should be selling.
- Top adjacent and new business opportunities for the community include data capture/POS and mobility.
- Bay talked a lot about evolving the distributor’s culture. Certainly, all distributors that want to survive are constantly seeking to get closer to the solution providers they serve and looking at ways to add value, and it sounds like Ingram is going just that.
And of course, ChannelBuzz.ca also shot a little video with Bay. In this video interview, Bay weighs in on the following topics:
- The opportunities opened by the distributor’s new advanced groups.
- How Ingram Micro intends to create a “leadership position” in the cloud market.
- The general mood Bay has seen in the channel since his return to Ingram this summer, and in particular at last week’s VTN Invitational.