Ingram highlights new businesses, capabilities on roadshow

Dave Mason, vice president of advanced solutions at Ingram Micro Canada

Dave Mason, vice president of advanced solutions at Ingram Micro Canada

A panel discussion of the distributor’s top Canadian executives at the recent Toronto stop of Ingram Micro’s annual Partner Experience tour recently shed some light on where the distributor sees its business going.

The panel featured Steve Roberts, vice president of mobility, Lang Moffatt, vice president of business solutions, Dave Mason, vice president of advanced solutions, and Greg Onoprijenko, newly-minted director of cloud, each with a chance to present their case for their part of the business.

One of the big themes for the executives was, as Mason put it “making sure people know what Ingram has within its four walls.”

“Investigate the areas where we support you in the technologies you’re focused on, Mason counseled solution providers in attendance.

Perhaps the biggest new announcement of the day, Mason discussed Ingram’s purchase of NetX USA, a South Carolina-based distributor of unified communications solutions. While NetX doesn’t have presence in Canada, Mason hinted that by the end of the year, Ingram will be bringing to market a managed UCC solution based on that acquisition, making it a space to watch closely over the coming months.

Moffatt echoed Mason’s comments on the breadth of solutions that Ingram can bring to bear, noting that among the 154 countries in the world in which Ingram does business, Canada is the only one where all of the company’s solutions are under one roof, at its Mississauga, Ont. headquarters. That kind of breadth can serve solution providers well as they either look at get into new areas, or download some aspects of jobs that don’t fit in their core competencies or focus.

Lang Moffatt, vice president of business solutions at Ingram Micro Canada

Lang Moffatt, vice president of business solutions at Ingram Micro Canada

“If there’s a business you’re looking to get into, we’re doing it all in the building here in Mississauga, and we’re more than willing to share what we’re doing,” Moffatt said, adding that the distributor’s capabilities could help solution providers “flex up and flex down, handle rollouts, and handle things that they aren’t necessarily comfortable with.”

Moffatt also talked up the distributor’s abilities around reverse logistics and capacity to help solution providers win and execute on bigger deals than they may be able to handle internally.

“We have a lot of capabilities you should be harnessing,” Moffatt said. “You focus on selling, deploying, and installing. But getting there where they need to be for your customers? We’re more than happy to discuss that.”

Roberts touched on the distributor’s mobility division, and while much of the presentation was consumer-focused, there were some interesting tidbits in there. The company is working on becoming Apple-authorized to work on iPhones, has had success in building its business around unlocked smartphones, previously a rarity in the Canadian market, and is looking to connect its CloudBlue business, which handles technology device destruction and recycling, with the Ingram VAR community.

As the newcomer to the panel, Onoprijenko used much of his time “officially on day 14” to introduce himself and explain the new structure of the cloud business for Ingram Micro in Canada.

“Sometimes, the U.S. treats us like the 51st state and doesn’t appreciate the nuances of the Canadian market. But Ingram Micro is taking the Canadian market very seriously, and the nuances and market demands that make this country unique,” he said.

He spoke to the company’s desire to build a “cloud services shopping mall,” one place to purchase many cloud services from a variety of vendors, and manage them all in the same place.

The Toronto event also featured a keynote from Dell, introduced by Dell Canada account manager Simon Powell, who pointed out how very far the company has come in distribution in a short time.

“18 months ago, we couldn’t get stock into distribution, and now we’re on the main stage,” he quipped.