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Ingram Micro’s Bay Promoted To Global Lead, CEO Monie´Will Zero In On Cloud, Commerce, Life-Cycle Business

Ingram Micro will to continue to expand into high-value areas such as cybersecurity, cloud and the Internet of Things and will look at expanding into new geographies and doubling down on existing ones, Paul Bay tells CRN.

Ingram Micro is promoting Paul Bay to executive vice president and president of Global Technology Solutions, while CEO Alain Monie´will add to his duties a focus on the cloud and commerce and life-cycle services lines of business, the Irvine, Calif.-based distributor said Wednesday.

“For me, this is a great opportunity,” Bay told CRN. “I’m excited because I get to work with very seasoned executives in running a region, so from my perspective it’s really about what we can do to drive best practices and continue to focus on the customer experience.”

Meanwhile, Monie´will “focus more of his energy” around boosting the company’s cloud and commerce and life-cycle lines of business as the markets are projected to grow in the near term.

“They’re high-growth market opportunities,” Bay said. “”Commerce and life-cycle services, if you look at the CAGR [compound annual growth rate], it’s between 7 [percent] and 8 percent between now and 2023. Cloud services, for the areas that we participate in, there’s at least 30 percent growth in that same period. The technology business that we historically have operated in, the technology solutions business, is low to mid-single-digits. So those are great market opportunities for us on a global basis to continue to tap into and deliver.”

Bay, who will assume his new role on Jan. 1, said Ingram Micro will to continue to expand into high-value areas such as cybersecurity, cloud and the Internet of Things. The distributor also will look at expanding into new geographies and doubling down on existing ones. And a key investment area will be expanding the width and depth of services for partners.

“A handful of years ago, distribution’s role was pick, pack and ship, credit facilities, and making sure we drove excellence in a lot of those instances. Now ... when I ask [partners] ‘What are they doing to drive value creation or differentiation?’ a lot of times that’s driving specialization. They’re leaning on Ingram Micro more to help augment those services they may be doing.”

This expertise spills over into their vendor relationships as well, according to Bay, where historically the distributor may have focused more on presales support. Now because of the number of certifications its staff holds, they’re increasingly working post-sales at the end-user level.

“There are certain vendors that are saying, ‘Hey, we want you to support this tier of reseller or solution provider that are going to support these type of end users,’ “Bay said. “We’re building out those capabilities because our solution providers may not have the ability or the investment to make in those technical resources.”

Another key area Bay plans to focus on is “operational excellence,” which he calls “IT agility through automation.”

“There’s a lot of effort that’s going on as to how do we simplify the processes, primarily with our vendors, and make that a much more touchless conversation with them digitally and [eliminating] ... the millions of conversations and emails and manual effort that we have,” he said. “How do we reduce that through automation?”

The overall goal of all these efforts, Bay said, is to make Ingram Micro a better partner.

“We’re going to help [partners] lower their cost of business risk,” Bay said. “We’re investing on behalf of our channel partners to take away that business risk of getting into a new technology or business area. Maybe they don’t have an IoT skill set. They can lean on us. ... Lower their business risk. Lower their cost of doing business and help drive value differentiation and long-term sustainability.”

Ingram Micro partners praised the work Bay has done in his current role.

Manak Ahluwalia, president and CEO of Aqueduct Technologies, a Boston-area MSP that is No. 324 on the 2019 CRN Solution Provider 500, said Bay has had tremendous success helping partners and expects more of the same as he takes on a global responsibility.

“We’ve worked with Paul since the organization was founded,” he said. “Paul has been a huge advocate of the channel. He’s been a huge advocate of understanding distribution’s unique role in helping the channel develop and perform. I think over the last couple years, he’s done a tremendous job identifying areas the channel is going to have to transform into.”

Ahluwalia said would like to see the distributor help partners push into international markets.

The company appears poised to help with just that as Ingram Micro is taking more of a global approach to the channel. During its recent Ingram Micro One event, the distributor unveiled a plan by its Trust X Alliance partner community to bring more international solution providers into the organization as a way to make it easier for partners to work with each other on deployments that cross international borders.

"Paul has been a great partner to us," Robert Bello, partner and vice president of sales at Bit by Bit Computer Consultants, a New York-based solution provider and MSP, told CRN. "He played a big role in the Trust X Alliance. The Trust X Alliance council had a meeting in September in Germany and has been increasing the global presence of the alliance. This has been received very well."

The executive changes at Ingram Micro point to exciting times for the channel, particularly on the cloud front, said Debbie Gannaway, director of DG Technologies, a Tampa, Fla.-based solution provider.

Ingram Micro has recently sharpened its focus on the cloud and security, Gannaway told CRN.

"I like how Ingram Micro has continued to evolve because of innovation," she said. "It has been taking the lead role in the industry. And this has meant big opportunities for us. Our customers need a lot of help with the cloud.”

Ingram Micro vendor partners have praised Bay’s work as well.

Veeam CEO Ratmir Timashev told CRN that Bay has always had an international focus, so Timashev sees him pulling all of the distributor’s regions together and making it easier to work with for international partners.

“Paul has always pushed global ideas,” Timashev said. “He has always had conversations with me, like how Ingram can become a global partner, not just in the Americas. We are gradually building our business with Ingram all over the world. This is a well-deserved promotion. He has had great results and great achievements over the last 20 years.”

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