Paul Bay, EVP and chief executive, Ingram Micro U.S. and Export, and Alain Monié, CEO, Ingram Micro shared the stage during the General Session of the Ingram Micro ONE event to answer questions from the audience. Using their phones, attendees had an opportunity to send their questions to the executives via the event’s app. Paul Bay received the questions on his tablet and then asked Alain for his perspective. Here is a recap of the candid Q&A.
[Paul] Where do you see Ingram Micro in five years?
[Alain] Our cloud offering, which we began seven years ago will comprise a larger part of our revenue. Many of our current cloud offerings are realizing 15% to 20% month-over-month growth. We currently have 800+ people working full time on our cloud initiatives, and half of those people are developers. We’re creating more intellectual property, enabling e-commerce, and creating a complete ecosystem that allows us to link systems and simplify technology deployments. We also see growth in mobility, especially in the areas of insurance, device repairs, and end-to-end lifecycle management.
[Paul] How does Ingram Micro help us with more vertical focus?
[Alain] As we develop new technology offerings, such as cloud, we’re building and offering vertical-specific bundles.
[Paul] Will Ingram Micro become “Amazon” for smaller tech companies?
[Alain] In many ways we already are. The big difference is that we are a B2B company, not B2C. Also, their business model is primarily about taking elements from one place to another, whereas our channel partners provide solutions.
[Paul] What role will Ingram Micro and its partners play in the IoT (Internet of Things) economy?
[Alain] To us, it’s still about delivering solutions, not devices. It’s important for our channel partners to gain a deeper understanding about what it means to go from a wired to wireless environment where you have IoT devices everywhere. You need to know the details of the technologies you sell and the business problems they solve in order to make intelligent bets. At the same time, it’s important to develop a focus. If you try to go everywhere, you’ll go nowhere.
[Paul] What additional advice do you have for fellow business owners?
[Alain] You must remain nimble in your decision making. It’s okay to make mistakes from time to time as long as you can quickly adjust your course. Additionally, like Jim Collins shared with us earlier, it is imperative to hire the best people. If you can do that without making a tradeoff between cost and quality, you will win.