Ingram chief flags new services and structure as key to 2010

VP and managing director, Jay Miley, talks to ARN about his first 12 months at Ingram Micro Australia

Ingram Micro’s local chief has flagged execution of its new sales strategy and more services as cornerstones of its 2010 campaign.

The comments follow the distributor’s decision to align sales teams across two key business units: The Enterprise Technology Group (ETG) and its Volume Business Unit. As part of the changes, longstanding commercial director, John Walters, has been made redundant.

“I believe we are in two businesses – one, we are geared towards high-end technology around the datacentre and enterprise networking and software solutions tie into that. Two, more commoditised technology such as notebooks, printers and so on,” Ingram vice-president and managing director, Jay Miley, said. “The skill sets required to be effective in these two business areas are unique.”

Miley said he began looking at the distributor’s sales structure almost immediately after his arrival 12 months ago. In March, the company aligned its vendor teams to the ETG and volume business unit structure.

“We had dialogue with vendors about strategy earlier this year as being complemented by these decisions. In the end, it did present hard personnel decisions, around John Walters in particular,” he said. “My respect for John has increased even more as he led the process and sacrificed his own position.”

Miley was reluctant to disclose the ratio split between its enterprise and volume business streams today, but said ETG was gaining share internally. Walters also claimed its enterprise business was bigger than most of its local competitors in that market segment.

Ingram has undergone significant changes since Miley’s appointment to the helm 12 months ago. Alongside the structural overhaul, the company has built a $6 million Partner Technology Centre, as well as acquired Vantex to build out its point-of-sale products portfolio.

Miley said significant changes had been implemented under his leadership, but most of the heavy lifting had now been done.

Ingram’s success in 2010 would come down to execution, he said.

“Having taken two senior roles in the last three years – New Zealand and now Australia – I’ve found you get the heavy lifting done in year one,” Miley said. “But change is a constant... and, I believe, a good thing.

“Having said that, I do think most of the heavy lifting in Australia is behind us. It’s now about executing the strategy we have set-up. What we have done is change our approach to be more effective.”

Miley said services will be a key focus in the New Year and flagged initiatives around its enterprise division in particular.

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“In the volume space, we will try to get our marketing approach down so we can more effectively compete with our competitors,” he said.

Returning market optimism from both the vendor and reseller communities would also pave the way for a stronger 12 months, Miley said.

“People are more optimistic than they were this time last year, or even in the first half of calendar 2009, which hopefully bodes well for 2010,” he commented. “We’re moving into a tough period, as December/January is traditionally slower for many parts of our customer base. If their house isn’t in order, they will have difficulties in the next 60 days, but I believe most are in good shape. We’ll be working to support those and are bullish about 2010.”

Ingram is also searching for a general manager for its Volume Business Unit to replace outgoing vendor manager, Matt Sanderson.

Miley said he was conducting a thorough search and hoped to have someone installed in the next couple of months. In the meantime, the team will report directly to Miley.