Ingram Makes Midrange Storage Play With EMC


The agreement, which was unveiled Tuesday, makes the ITS Division the only distributor in North America to carry EMC's entire line of products that ship to the channel, said Scott Look, ITS vice president.

In addition to the new products, ITS also carries EMC's Insignia line of small business storage hardware and software, as well as the company's data protection software, its RSA security products, and its VMware server virtualization software.

EMC has two other distributors in North America, Arrow and Avnet, but they do not carry as wide a product line, especially in the small business part of the market.

A source close to the storage distribution market called the agreement an interesting play for Ingram Micro.

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"This puts pressure on Arrow and Avnet," the source said. "EMC is a closed distribution model. EMC has to be targeting a specific area in order to not offend its other distributors."

That is indeed the case, Look said. "EMC is very sensitive to disrupting the channel it currently has," he said. "So we are focusing on the 'M' part of the SMB space. The market suppliers want us to focus on the SMB, especially the 'M' side. But if we can also encroach on the 'S' side, that will be OK."

Avnet and Arrow, on the other hand, focus more on enterprise solution providers, Look said. "We're going to market with a new breed of resellers," he said. "The Ingram Micro value-add and the specialty distribution focus that Arrow and Avnet do are in different spaces."

Because of EMC's closed distribution model, Look admitted that recruiting new partners will be the biggest challenge of ITS going forward. "But we've made commitments to EMC to pull in new resellers," he said. "It will be a mix of Insignia VARs today and VARs that are net-new to Ingram Micro."

To help recruit those solution providers, EMC has been training 10 pre-sales tech support workers in its Buffalo, N.Y., office on the new products, and is planning to hire seven new business development managers with responsibility for recruiting new solution providers, Look said.

EMC's Clariion line of storage arrays competes with a number of other products that the ITS Division currently sells. These includes Hewlett-Packard's MSA and EVA lines, IBM's DS series, and Hitachi Data Systems' WMS and AMS lines. Centera is EMC's line of content-addressable storage arrays for storing data for compliance purposes, while the Celerra is EMC's IP SAN and NAS gateway line.

"The Clariion fills in a bit of a void for our offerings," Look said. "But we are also committed to HP's, IBM's, and Hitachi's storage offerings as well."

EMC was unavailable for comment as of Monday evening. However, in a statement, Pete Koliopoulos, EMC's vice president of global channel marketing, said, "Expanding our relationship with Ingram Micro further demonstrates EMC's focus and commitment to the Channel. EMC's advanced networked storage systems combined with the support and services found within Ingram Micro's new ITS Division will bring to market sales synergies that solution providers can leverage to build more business and add more value to their service capabilities."

Ingram Micro formally launched its ITS Division in June.