IBM has appointed Ingram Micro as its second local distributor for the company’s software products, with the aim to extend its reach to a broader range of local companies.
From July 1, the distributor will have access to all IBM software brands, including Information Management, Lotus, Rational, Tivoli and Websphere. It joins Express Data, which had exclusive access to the range for the past six years.
The change comes after IBM conducted a major review in March of its software distribution strategy, in which it asked seven distributors to submit proposals for taking on the range.
Ingram Micro will give IBM access to a broader number of potential channel partners, says IBM software group manager Phill Patton.
“They have 2000 business partners they deal with on a regular basis. Ingram Micro brings knowledge of the New Zealand channel, while business partners have a familiarity with them and know how they operate.”
Since Ingram Micro already distributes IBM hardware, it will be able to provide bundled offerings that include the vendor’s software, says Patton. This will reduce complexity for partners and boost their bottom line, he adds.
“It gives our business partners the ability to go to one provider and be able to get ease of procurement and reduction of process. That will allow partners to get their result into the market quicker and without having to go to multiple places to fulfil.”
This also creates the opportunity for “whitebox bundles”, says Patton. “This allows the distributor to build bundles to ship to business partners, rather than them being built at the business partner.”
Ingram Micro solutions group general manager Scott Cowen confirms the company plans to offer cross-bundling between IBM hardware and software. “This is a big differentiator for us – we already have IBM hardware and the software will be complementary. It is not something that IBM could not do in the past. We will be able to offer end-to-end IBM solutions.”
He adds Ingram Micro is taking on four additional staff to focus on IBM software.
A restructure of the company’s solutions business will also enable it to focus more on the range, says Cowen.
“We are setting up three groups of technology-focussed teams, managing business licensing (which covers software), networking and security, and infrastructure, which includes storage and servers.”
While this restructure was in the pipeline, the IBM software appointment was a catalyst, says Cowen. “We have some other brands coming online at the same time.”
Meanwhile, IBM has also appointed Datastor to provide broad-based distribution for the Tivoli storage, security and automation, which will also give resellers more access to bundled offerings, says Patton.
“We wanted IBM storage to be offered in end-to-end solutions, allowing partners to take dynamic and complete storage offerings to their customers.”
Express Data general manager of sales and marketing Paul Plester doubts Ingram Micro will add much incremental growth to IBM’s software business locally.
“In the past, both here and in Australia, where Ingram Micro has been brought on for breadth plays with long-term established vendors like IBM and Cisco, that hasn’t happened. But there is always a first time,” Plester claims.
See also “IBM to simplify selling processes for software” on page 3.