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Ingram Micro and Minicom seal German deal

by Stuart Wilson, Wednesday 7 May 2008

Digital signage distribution systems outfit Minicom has inked a strategic alliance with distribution giant Ingram Micro for the German market. The move forms part of Ingram’s plan to position itself as a leader in the booming digital signage market by providing end-to-end solutions from a number of vendors including Minicom, Broadsign and Philips. Ingram plans to provide one-stop digital signage solutions to the SMB sector.

“The appointment of Ingram Micro as a distributor for Minicom’s last mile solutions for Digital Signage is a major step in serving this booming market,” said Ronni Guggenheim, president at Minicom Europe. “Together with other leading brands, such as Philips and BroadSign, we are able to offer a comprehensive package and solution to the market. Ingram Micro is an optimal avenue to serve the SMB market of smaller and medium size rollouts. We are extremely excited about this opportunity.”

Ingram gets Google in EMEA

Ingram Micro also struck a recent deal with internet colossus Google to distribute the company’s enterprise search products across EMEA. Following a similar partnership agreed in June 2007 covering North America, Asia and Latin America, Ingram Micro will now distribute the Google Mini and Google Search Appliance (GSA) to businesses of all sizes within EMEA.

Google’s search technology allows companies to easily find all forms of corporate information, quickly and securely. The distribution deal follows increasing demand for Google’s enterprise search products in EMEA. Ingram Micro’s reseller base will help to create and fulfil customer demand across the region by now making Google search technology accessible to organisations of all sizes across all industries.

“Today’s ability to access information in a secured, timely and easy manner can be critical to the success of a business. By adding the Google Mini and GSA to our portfolio, we are providing our channel partners with access to new revenue streams from one of the world’s most recognised brand names,” said Jay Forbes, president at Ingram Micro EMEA. “Our extended market reach and strong channel expertise make us the ideal partner for companies like Google who wish to reach out to a large audience”.

As part of the alliance, Ingram Micro will provide Google with key competencies of sales, reseller credit, marketing, technical support and logistics to reach target markets in a cost-effective manner. Ingram Micro is also creating a comprehensive reseller recruitment plan in select regions to identify, recruit and train suitable reseller partners to sell both products, and provide technical support after the sale. Ingram Micro will extend this service to other regions as needed based on demand.

"Partners are making an increasing contribution to the Google enterprise business in EMEA and extending our relationship with Ingram Micro increases the scale and reach of our channel network,” said Peter Lorant, head of enterprise partners at Google EMEA.

"We now have over 10,000 search customers globally and having access to Ingram Micro’s large reseller base means we can bring the power of Google search that millions of consumers benefit from to many more businesses across EMEA," he added.

Ingram’s EMEA restructuring

Ingram Micro has also revealed details of its previously announced EMEA restructuring plan, which will focus on the distributor’s European headquarters in Belgium. The company has been keen to point out that the restructuring will not impact its national in-country operation, Ingram Micro Belgium.

In a release explaining the restructuring, Ingram Micro stated: “The intended restructuring of the European Headquarters is necessary to adapt the functions and purpose of the European Headquarters to the swiftly changing market for IT distribution and the rapidly evolving expectations of customers and vendors.”

“The serious weakening of the global economy and the corresponding structural reduction in IT spending are calling for action. The slower-growth economic environment has lead to more aggressive pricing and increased competition, and industry analysts expect this trend to continue. Within Ingram Micro, compared to 2007, the EMEA region has seen a significant decline in its business, with sales declining at a quicker pace than operating expenses. It has become clear that the company needs to take decisive measures to stop – then turn around – this decline,” the release continued.

“Today, Ingram Micro’s European headquarters employs approximately 200 people across Europe, approximately 163 of which are based in Belgium. It is expected that this intended restructuring could result in between 50 to 70 employees being affected across Europe. The management of Ingram Micro remains committed to maintain Belgium as a location for its European headquarters,” continued Ingram Micro’s statement.

The restructuring will commence in the third quarter of 2008.

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