About 800 channel partners joined Ingram Micro Inc. (NYSE: IM) this week in Las Vegas for the semi-annual VTN Invitational; many of which came from Canada. This VentureTech Network conference was called “The Future is Ours,” emphasizing the many business opportunities and outlets for growth potential that exist for VTN IT solution provider members.
One of the major announcements at the show was a new partnership with Shoretel. Ingram will start to carry the full portfolio of ShoreTel unified communications (UC) products and tools, including the latest version of ShoreTel Mobility, a smartphone integration solution that intelligently integrates smartphones and tablets with most major IP PBX systems and UC systems.
Paul Bay, executive vice president, Ingram Micro North America, said UC solutions represent a high-growth, high-margin sales and service opportunity for channel partners and a growing IT solutions category for Ingram Micro. The expertise and enablement within Ingram’s Advanced Technology Division, which is based in Buffalo, N.Y. can also bring business and technical value to channel partners and assist ShoreTel in reaching its growth goals.The VTN conference assembled many other high tech vendors such as CA, Cisco, HP, IBM, Microsoft and Xerox. The show was highlighted by keynotes from Gartner, Inc.’s Tiffani Bova and HP’ channel chief Stephen DiFranco.
Also VTN members were treated to a presentation by Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos.com, Inc. and author of the book, “Delivering Happiness.”
Ingram also took the opportunity to promote some new cloud offerings at the Fall VTN Invitational.
The Services Division of Ingram announced Kaseya, an automated IT systems management software for managed service providers, has joined the distributor’s Cloud vendor portfolio and will be offering its Kaseya IT Center remote management and monitoring (RMM) product to Ingram Micro channel partners.
In addition, the Ingram Micro Cloud is now offering additional cloud-based solutions from Symantec and Trend Micro to channel partners in North America. These solutions include Symantec Backup Exec.cloud, which assists solutions providers in protecting critical data by automatically streaming it — fully encrypted — to Symantec’s secure, off-site data centres, and Trend Micro Deep Security, a physical, virtual and cloud server security platform comprising multiple agentless and agent-based defenses, preventing breaches, enabling compliance, and maximizing virtualization and cloud ROI.
The new trio of Ingram Micro Cloud solutions, as well as Symantec Endpoint Protection.cloud and Trend Micro Worry-Free Business Security Services, are being promoted as part of the Services Division’s expanding cloud portfolio Fall VentureTech Network Invitational in Las Vegas.
Renee Bergeron, vice president, managed services and cloud computing, Ingram, the Ingram Micro Cloud has announced 12 new vendors relationships and brought to market more than 25 new cloud solutions in the last nine months.
“We’re seeing positive gains within our partner community and continue to lead the market as the IT industry’s top cloud services aggregator and single source distribution partner,” she said.
Ingram did not stop there. The company also announced its 2011 System ArchiTECHS “Let Us Take You There” Fall Invitational along with new peer group resources designed to help the growing system and server builder community drive success in new markets.
At the bi-annual event, held October 19-20 at the Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas, the distributor introduced four new partner-led peer groups focused on business acumen, digital signage, high-performance computing and managed services.
System ArchiTECHS council members with established expertise in these areas will lead the groups, with a goal of providing the tools and resources that members need to expand their service offerings and build long-term sustainable growth.
Holly Garcia, event host and senior director, Components Business Unit, Ingram, said the System ArchiTECHS community is continuing to evolve along with the changing landscape of the system builder industry. One of the top priorities is to keep members of the Systems ArchiTECHS community ahead of the curve through our new peer groups as well as other specialized resources and enablement tools that we’ll make available at the event and throughout the year.
Finally, Ingram provided a preliminary update on certain expected financial results for the fiscal third quarter that ended October 1, 2011. Worldwide sales for the third quarter are expected to be approximately $8.9 billion, in-line with the company’s expectations and growing modestly in local currencies compared with both the second quarter of this year and the third quarter of the prior year.
Third-quarter earnings per share are expected to range from a non-GAAP $0.32 to $0.34 per share, which includes the non-recurring charges described below.
Earnings per share were impacted by the following factors, according to Ingram: the market-share recovery in Australia, the implementation of a new ERP system, and efforts to restore revenues are requiring additional marketing costs and competitive pricing actions.
Greg Spierkel, company CEO said these factors dampened gross margins and operating leverage, which brought earnings per share below the company’s expectations for the quarter.