01 Jun 2009
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Ingram Micro: everything is POS-sible

Ingram Micro took the next step in its fiveyear plan to become a strong presence in DC POS (data capture and point of sale) last month, when it signed a conditional deal with ProvencoCadmus Limited and relevant subsidiaries to buy its Vantex division.

Over the last fi ve years Ingram Micro has strategically purchased six overseas distributors that specialise in DC POS, with Vantex being the seventh. These acquisitions have made Ingram Micro the second largest DC POS distributor in North America and Europe and, with the addition of Vantex, Ingram Micro believes it has entered the “number one seat” in the Asia Pacific region. Gary Bigwood, General Manager of Ingram Micro in New Zealand, said of the DC POS market: “We see key and obvious synergies with what we are already doing: a very similar customer base, very similar technology sets, even some crossover in the vendors, so it makes perfect sense.”

Vantex is the second acquisition by Ingram Micro in as many months, with VAD becoming a division of Ingram Micro back in mid-April. Bigwood said he didn’t think that the IT community would be very surprised by the acquisition.

When The Channel asked if Ingram Micro was aiming for a distribution monopoly in New Zealand, Bigwood laughed and denied the prospect, saying that Ingram Micro has plenty of competitors and the acquisitions must be kept in perspective: there have been two acquisitions in two months, but nothing for fi ve years before that in this country. “The timing is right,” he said, “it is a sensible time to do some acquisitions and it’s a sensible time for some consolidation in the marketplace.” When asked if there were any further acquisitions planned, Bigwood carefully replied, “the official response is ‘we don’t talk about any potential acquisitions’”.

In the meantime, Vantex will follow a similar vein to the VAD acquisition and become ‘Vantex – a division of Ingram Micro’. All 30 employees will move to the Ingram Micro premises. Steve Marson, formerly the general manager of Vantex, is now the General Manager, DC POS Business Unit. Marson was most positive about the deal, commenting “we are genuinely excited about it”.

“Out of 30-odd staff, I haven’t heard an adverse comment,” he added, suggesting that this is unusual for a company that is being taken over. Bigwood confi rmed that Ingram Micro is equally excited to be bringing its long-term strategic plans in the DC POS market to fruition. He added: “Although the two categories (IT distribution and DC POS distribution) are closely aligned, they have probably moved forward at a different rate from the point of view of services that we can take to market.” Many of the IT-style services have not been available in the DC POS market before, so the move could change the face of DC POS.

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