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Dell EMC Reveals U.S. Distribution Changes: Ingram Gets EMC Back; Arrow, Avnet, Carahsoft Unlock Dell Enterprise

Michael Novinson

Dell EMC has restored Ingram Micro's EMC relationship in the United States and extended all or part of Dell's heritage enterprise portfolio to Arrow, Avnet and Carahsoft.

Ingram Micro still employs a lot of the talent that drove the Irvine, Calif.-based distributor's success with EMC before it severed ties with Ingram in April 2015, according to Kirk Robinson, Ingram Micro's senior vice president of go-to-market. Ingram Micro plans to shift its existing EMC resources back into place, Robinson said, and hire the certified engineers and other talent to be the dominant Dell EMC distributor.

"When the relationship ended with EMC, we were their 'Distributor of the Year' because we were consistently outperforming Arrow and Avnet," Robinson told CRN. "We're going to build that playbook back out, and we're going to raise the bar even higher."

[Related: Arrow Snags $350M of Channel Business From Competitors, Lands Dell Enterprise Portfolio]

Ingram Micro's go-to-market efforts will initially leverage the distributor's business intelligence capabilities and target new solution providers that are not reselling EMC today, Robinson said. Once channel partners are allowed to switch distributors again, starting in August, Robinson said Ingram Micro will pursue restoring relationships with its former EMC partners.

"Customers have been coming to us and asking, 'When are you going to get EMC back?'" Robinson said. "When the gate opens up, we're going to go back to working with all of the accounts that we were performing with when we were [EMC] Distributor of the Year."

Arrow enjoys a commanding lead in EMC distribution market share in North America, and looks forward to extending conversations with its existing EMC partner base from data center storage and backup to Dell's heritage compute and networking platforms, according to Ben Klay, vice president and general manager of Arrow's infrastructure systems group.

"We think this opens us some new markets to us," Klay told CRN. "It's not every day we get to expand the portfolio like this."

Klay said Arrow had built its dominant market position around EMC by employing a dedicated compensation model, where the distributor's EMC team only got paid when EMC products were sold.

Tech Data no longer enjoys the distinction of being the only distributor carrying Dell and EMC's entire product line in the U.S. now that EMC has restored ties with Ingram Micro.

But Tech Data's comprehensive capabilities across both Dell EMC's value data center and emerging technology practice as well as its volume PC, mobile and entry-level server business are unparalleled in the industry, according to executive vice president and chief operating officer Rich Hume.


"We have strength in both, and we aren't coming from a cold start," Hume told CRN. "The relationship has existed across all of those areas for a good period of time, and we do business with all three Dell Technologies companies [Dell, EMC and VMware] at scale."

That relationship will be bolstered in the next few months when Tech Data's $2.6 billion acquisition of Avnet Technology Solutions (TS) closes, which Hume said will amplify the distributor's capabilities around EMC's security, analytics, and hyper-converged infrastructure practices.

Avnet TS has been an EMC partner for more than 15 years and believes Dell's acquisition of the vendor will open up new opportunities, the company said in a statement. The distributor did not immediately address how it will benefit from adding Dell's enterprise portfolio to its line card.

Synnex will continue distributing Dell's legacy client and enterprise products, and, along with Ingram Micro, had been one of only two distributors offering the vendor's U.S. federal program, according to Reyna Thompson, vice president of product management for Synnex's ConvergeSolv Secure Networking Group.

Thompson said in a statement that Synnex offers a dedicated sale Dell ruggs rep to all 20,000 of its reseller accounts, differentiating themselves from peers who service resellers from the 'next available person' in the queue.

Synnex has a dedicateded computing specialist on staff, Thompson said, and also maintains an exclusive program that offers networking resellers access to MDF, demo gear, asset buyback programs, call campaigns and weekly inventory reports.

Executives from Dell and Carahsoft were not immediately available for comment. Carahsoft had been serving legacy EMC partners exclusively in the U.S. government space and is now authorized to also sell Dell's Compellent storage line to federal customers.

Platte River Networks moved all of its Dell direct business to Ingram Micro two years ago and has benefitted greatly from Ingram's marketing and training funds and continued education offerings, according to David DeCamillis, vice president of sales and marketing for the Denver-based company.

DeCamillis said Ingram Micro's partner community was shocked when EMC dropped the distributor in North America two years ago and isn't surprised that Dell came in and reversed that decision.

"Ingram really knows how to deal with reseller partners," DeCamillis said.

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