Ingram Micro SVP: We'd be 'Thrilled' If Dell Allows Us to Carry EMC Again

Ingram Micro hopes Dell's acquisition of EMC will allow the distributor to get back with the storage giant just seven months after being dropped.

"We've made very clear our desire to resell EMC to the Dell executives," Kirk Robinson, Ingram Micro's senior vice president of commercial markets and global accounts, told CRN on Tuesday. "We're hoping we can get another crack at it."

EMC said in January that it would sever ties with the Santa Ana, Calif.-based distributor by April 17, forcing solution providers to source their storage products through competing distributors Arrow, Avnet and Tech Data. This came just months after Ingram Micro was named EMC's distributor of the year, praised for growing its EMC portfolio by double digits and forging the most net new North American partner relationships of any distributor.

[Related: Ingram Micro to Roll Out Two-Tier Cloud Partner Program in January]

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Asked to comment by CRN about this issue, Dell responded: "Until the acquisition closes, we are not able to comment on this."

Ingram Micro has more support around its storage business today than when it carried Hopkinton, Mass.-based EMC, Robinson said during Ingram Micro ONE in Nashville, Tenn. That's because the distributor brought on or trained staff to support other vendors such as Nimble in an effort to supplement its storage practice.

"When [EMC] went away, we did what we do best -- we went to other vendors, brought on emerging vendors and replaced that business," Robinson said. "And now we'd be thrilled to have the opportunity to bring EMC back on the line card."

Similarly, Paul Bay, chief executive of Ingram Micro U.S., said the distributor is always looking for the best technologies in the marketplace and believes the acquisition presents a significant opportunity.

"There's a number of different storage solutions out there, and we have a pretty good stack that we're able to fulfill today," Bay told CRN. "[But] based on the size of [EMC] and relevance, obviously, there's a value in the market."

Given that Dell's $67 million purchase of EMC was just revealed last month, Robinson said he expects it will take some time before Dell sorts out which distributors will be authorized to support EMC post-acquisition. Dell has aligned itself closely with Ingram Micro, Synnex and Tech Data in recent years, growing the amount of sales going through distribution by more than 50 percent over the past year.

"Dell's made all the right moves in terms of supporting the channel," Mike Erwin, Ingram Micro's senior director of vendor management, told CRN. "They've been a great vendor to work with, and I wouldn't expect it to be any different when they bring on EMC."

One outstanding question is how many partners would come back to Ingram Micro if the distributor was reauthorized to carry EMC storage products. The number of ex-Ingram Micro EMC partners signed by Avnet had already reached the high double digits by mid-March, Denny O’Connell, Avnet's senior vice president and general manager of converged and data solutions, told CRN at the time.

Noviant had been procuring EMC products through Ingram Micro, but had to switch over to Tech Data after the distributor was dropped. Kevin Wang, CEO of the New York-based solution provider, said Noviant would be interested in renewing ties with Ingram around EMC assuming the products are effectively integrated over the overall ecosystem.

"That definitely simplifies the process in terms of certificates," Wang said.

Trust X Alliance member Guy Baroan said EMC's decision was disruptive to many Ingram Micro partners, as it forced them to begin purchasing from other distributors with which they had virtually no ties.

"People were pissed when they could no longer buy from Ingram," said Baroan, CEO of Baroan Technologies in Elmwood Park, N.J.

For this reason, Baroan said, he anticipates that many EMC partners would return to Ingram Micro if the distributor is reauthorized.