Ingram Micro UK spoke to PCR about growth areas, upping its vendor count and moving to a new office at its SMB Alliance Forum.
When asked whether industry perceptions around the distributor being a ‘sleeping giant’ had changed since our last interview, UK MD Brent McCarty said: "Yes. It’s going really well for us. I think that the company has been going through massive amounts of change. The broadline business is great for us – it’s growing and that’s fantastic and it allows us to have some scale.
"If you look at how the sales resources are actually split, about 50 per cent support the volume business and 50 per cent support the value business. But about 33 per cent of our business comes from value and 67 per cent comes from volume.
"So we’re a big player on that side and we see our advantage as the fact that we are broadline, but we’ve invested those resources to specifically focus on the enterprise products. And we’re doing great – it’s the fastest growing part of our business."
Ingram recently signed a deal with Dell to offer the PC vendor’s full range of products to its customers – McCarty says this helps gives Ingram’s customers greater choice.
"We’ve been having some good success with Lenovo, some good success with Cisco, and I think that bringing Dell on board is really meaningful. It’s an incremental opportunity. We think it differentiates Ingram because we now have the top three from a volume side in HP, Lenovo and Dell, and our customers buy from Ingram because we can bring that portfolio of solutions," he added.
"Resellers aren’t exclusive to one vendor or another, so it really enhances our position in the marketplace when we can provide all the brands. So we see this as an opportunity to grow the existing vendors that we have while at the same time having this incremental opportunity with Dell. And when you add them together, it creates a great value proposition for us."
McCarty also revealed that Ingram Micro UK is close to moving to its new office in Milton Keynes.
"Right now we’re targeting end of October," he commented. "It might slip into the first two weeks of November depending on some technology that we’re waiting on.
"We’ve tried to create a really fun environment – something that’s collaborative for our vendors and associates, and something that’s fresh. So it’s long overdue in the UK and we have aspirations to make some changes globally as well, so there’s a lot of eyeballs on this move for us."
When you say ‘fun’ Brent, do you mean Google-style office slides?
"No. We’re a distributor, right!" he laughs. "It’s not Google. But we have tried to break down barriers. We’ve tried to remove walls. So when our vendors and customers come out we do have areas that we can formally break out. But we definitely have areas that, you know, we want to really encourage an open collaboration.
"We want to meet on the floor where the action is happening and give our vendors the exposure to what our sales organisation is doing every day, because I think it’s a great active area. It will be a great place to work."
Ingram’s SMB Alliance event saw 670 customers register, with over 150 participants from vendors, and 50 to 75 representatives from Ingram Micro on hand.