CRN Exclusive: Ingram Micro Accelerates Cloud Charge With Avnet, AppDirect Executive Hires

Ingram Micro Cloud has landed the sales leader of AppDirect and longtime point person for Avnet's cloud division to broaden its platform capabilities and drive new ISV relationships.

The Irvine, Calif.-based distributor said it has hired Richard Dufty as senior vice president of its Global Cloud Platform Group, where he will be responsible for overseeing the Odin, Ensim, APS Connect, Federation and Concerto Cloud Orchestration portfolio. Dufty grew sales at cloud platform startup AppDirect from $1 million to $100 million in four and a half years, and helped it achieve a $1 billion valuation.

Tim FitzGerald, meanwhile, will take over as vice president of North American Cloud Channel Sales, where he will be responsible for growing and developing the distributor's cloud platforms, marketplaces and services through the U.S. and Canada. FitzGerald was the chief strategist and had profit and loss responsibility for the Avnet Cloud Solution division for more than eight years.

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Many of FitzGerald's responsibilities were previously held by Jason Bystrak, who will now become executive director of partner enablement. Bystrak, a 22-year Ingram Micro veteran, will be responsible for expanding the distributor's vendor partner ecosystem to include more ISVs, Software-as-a-Service, Infrastructure-as-a-Service and Platform-as-a-Service providers.

"Cloud is the future of at least half of technology," Nimesh Dave, Ingram Micro's executive vice president of global cloud, told CRN exclusively. "We're seeing extremely high adoption."

Platform transactions are fairly large enterprise deals with $500,000 to millions of dollars in software and services, Dave said, and is a far more involved process than selling SaaS. Dufty has both the technical and business skills to manage Ingram Micro's growing collection of platforms, Dave said, and has a good vision into how telecom firms and ISVs will go to market in the future.

"We're seeing the platform economy form," Dave said.

FitzGerald, meanwhile, will work more closely with MSPs and be expected to handle more large IaaS deals with a more involved design, architecture and implementation process, Dave said. FitzGerald comes from an advanced solution background, Dave said, and excels at merging physical and virtual components into a single sales motion.

In his new role, Bystrak will lead a 10- to 15-person team tasked solely with recruiting more ISVs, Dave said. Bystrak has launched some 75 new ISVs and cloud providers into the market over the past six years, and Dave wants him to coach smaller ISVs on how they can be successful in the channel and make their knowledge programmatic.

"Really great technology often gets lost because they [ISVs] can't get it to market," Dave said. "More technology will be available to more of our value-added resellers … in a much faster fashion without them having to discover it themselves."

Dufty will report to Dave, while Bystrak will report to Vice President of Global Cloud Product Management Tarik Faouzi. FitzGerald, meanwhile, will report to both Renee Bergeron, senior vice president of global cloud, and Kirk Robinson, senior vice president of U.S. Go-to-Market, and work closely with Ingram Micro Canada Chief Executive Bill Brandel.

The changes are part of Ingram Micro's evolution from a cloud services aggregator to a cloud services platform innovator and market enabler, the company said. Ingram Micro has 1,500 associates dedicated to cloud, 40,000 channel partners registered on the company's cloud marketplace, and supports a third of the world's leading service providers through its cloud platform group, according to the company.

Prior to joining Ingram Micro, Dufty took San Francisco-based AppDirect from Series A to a $1 billion valuation, and built out a 51-person sales organization from scratch. Before that, Dufty spent eight years at Mountain View, Calif.-based Symantec, where he spent some time leading all U.S. sales and channels for the company's Norton business.

FitzGerald has spent his entire 17-year career at Avnet Technology Solutions, which was purchased by Tech Data for $2.6 billion in February. Following eight years leading the Tempe, Ariz.-based distributor's cloud charge, FitzGerald has spent the past several months spearheading digital transformation efforts by leveraging data capture and analytics tools, and evolving the digital operations process.

Bystrak, meanwhile, joined Ingram Micro as an inside sales representative in 1995, and has overseen the company's cloud push in North America for the past six and a half years. In that role, Bystrak has led all customer-facing activities, and driven customer acquisition, platform adoption, partner enablement and channel program evolution.

Ingram Micro has been focused on cloud for longer than any other distributor, and has been ahead of the game in realizing that its future lies in cloud, according to Guy Baroan, president of Elmwood Park, N.J.-based Baroan Technologies, an Ingram Micro Trust X Alliance partner.

"They're really pushing the envelope and bringing in the right people," Baroan told CRN. "Their experience is going to be great as Ingram looks to see what are the companies and technologies that they should bring to their cloud offering."

Baroan was also pleased to see that Ingram Micro now has high-level executives committed full-time to cloud platforms and expanding the cloud platform ecosystem.

"Unless you've dedicated someone to a specific area, I don't think you're going to have success," Baroan said. "I don't think one person can do a good job with everything."