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Incremental growth through U.S. Distribution route expansion

Targeted at Mid-Market Clients

by Bill Donohue
January 15, 2013

I am pleased to share with you today news about IBM’s global distribution strategy. Our goal is to have more, full-line Distributors on a global basis that reach the emerging-types of reseller models that support our clients.

Effective today, IBM is authorizing Ingram Micro Inc. and Tech Data Corporation to sell IBM Power Systems and enterprise-class storage products in the United States, as an expansion of our existing relationships.

With this announcement, all four Distribution partners – Arrow Electronics Inc., Avnet Technology Solutions, Ingram Micro and Tech Data -- will be able to drive the sale of IBM integrated solutions including: IBM System x, IBM PureSystems and IBM FlexSystems, IBM Power Systems, IBM System Storage, IBM Software, IBM Global Services, and IBM Global Financing - and expands our distribution support and capacity across our IBM Business Partner community.

The addition of Ingram Micro and Tech Data to the portfolio of IBM’s full-line Distributors is primarily for the purpose of distribution route expansion to reach new reseller and client segments, especially in the mid-market.

With these expanded relationships, we are focused on reaching incremental resellers in the IBM ecosystem who are important to our clients such as:

  • Independent Software Vendors (ISVs);
  • Managed Service Providers (MSPs);
  • Cloud Providers;
  • other resellers who do not currently have a IBM Power Systems or IBM System Storage resale relationship.

IBM needs broader market access to resellers and their clients, especially in the mid-size customer segment, which is the fastest growing segment in North America. IBM estimates that the North America Mid-Market represents $160B market opportunity and growing three percent annually. Ingram Micro and Tech Data have a broad set of resellers and MSPs that sell integrated IBM solutions, manage networks, run software applications and host services in this mid-size customer segment.

Incremental growth from new resellers servicing the mid-size customer segment will help IBM to:

  • maintain and extend our leadership position with Power Systems, which continues to be the share leader in the high-end and mid-range UNIX server segments;
  • accelerate our growth in the storage segment, where storage capacity shipped is projected to grow double digits through 2015, due to explosive data growth.

I want to emphasize that Arrow Electronics Inc. and Avnet Technology Solutions remain critically important to the success of IBM’s Power Systems and storage distribution strategy and business. It is our intent that IBM’s current Power resellers would continue to do business with Arrow and Avnet as they are today.

IBM clients will have greater access to the breadth of IBM products and integrated solutions, including Smarter Planet solutions, through a larger group of resellers who are trained and skilled to sell to the mid-size customer segment.

I look forward to the year ahead with four leading U.S. distributors – Arrow Electronics, Avnet Technology, Ingram Micro and Tech Data – to support IBM’s strategy and growth.

To learn more about IBM’s Business Partner strategy, join us at IBM PartnerWorld Leadership Conference on February 25-28, 2013 in Las Vegas.

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Bill Donohue is the vice president of North America Business Partners and Mid-market Sales for IBM.

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