Exclusive Q&A: Ingram Micro President Paul Bay Sees Big Opportunities In Cloud, Mobility


CRN: What about mobility? Is there as much growth as everyone thought there would be?

Bay: If you look at the form factors from smartphones, I think it's, on a global basis, five or six percent of the world owns tablets, and it's more like 20 percent or 25 percent that own a smartphone.

I have people on my staff who have smartphones that are almost as big as my tablet. I always laugh and say, "How do you put that thing in your pocket when you want to go out on a casual night on the town?" The smartphones have become so big. That's kind of where I believe the cross-over long term is going to be. It's going to be interesting to see that kind of smaller tablet factor versus where the smartphones are going and where that merges.

I'm on a plane every week, so I can kind of do my own survey of where [mobile devices] are. I'm seeing more people using their smartphones, even people that travel with me for day trips. Before it was [a choice between bringing] my notebook and tablet and phone, and then it was I'll just the tablet and phone. Now I'm seeing people say "I'm just going to bring my phone, I can get through it because it's got all the features and functionalities from a smartphone standpoint."

Over the next quarter, what can partners expect to see from Ingram Micro?

You will see us continue to focus on how we can continue to be their indispensable partner and building out resources to help support their business and help build a better business with their end partners. With the resources, the technical capabilities and the conversations around how we can help enable them from a full solutions [standpoint], you'll continue to see us very focused on [partners].