IT distribution, Distributed Workforce, Networking

Ingram, NETXUSA Reframe Unified Communications Market

Phone on the cloud. Cloud computing concept and business
Ingram’s Jeff Yelton
Jeff Yelton

The unified communications market has been around for more than a decade. But Ingram Micro and NETXUSA are uniting to reset the conversation. As part of Ingram's buyout of NETXUSA, announced yesterday, the two companies will carefully define UC opportunities to their respective partner bases -- and then pursue those opportunities together, effective immediately.

"Before I describe opportunities from the deal it's important to understand our definition of unified communications," said Jeff Yelton, VP and GM of Advanced Solutions at Ingram Micro. "From Ingram's definition, UC technology allows you to speak to anyone, anytime, anywhere on any device."

It's a simple concept -- but it requires considerable underlying technology. In the case of Ingram and NETXUSA uniting for UC:

  • Ingram brings the infrastructure, networking and more to the conversation.
  • NETXUSA brings provisioning software, endpoint solutions and more to automate UC in a number of ways.

Tuck NETXUSA into Ingram, and channel partners as well as service providers now have access to complete UC solutions, Yelton asserts. Moreover, partner overlap between the two companies is minimal. NETXUSA works with about 300 service providers -- including giants like Comcast, Time Warner and Verizon -- and about 1,200 VARs. Ingram, meanwhile, brings thousands of VARs and MSPs to the table.

This Wasn't a Speed Dial Decision

Ingram started looking at the UC market about two years ago, and really started thinking about an acquisition about a year ago. The resulting buyout tucks into Ingram's Advanced Solutions group, which now includes:

  • Unified Communications
  • Data capture and point of sale
  • Physical security
  • Pro AV (audio/video)

"The reason we have them all in one division is quite logical," says Yelton. "Each of those solutions areas require deep pre- and post-sales technical support. And sales preps have to have deep domain knowledge."

Ingram and NETXUSA will start cross-selling their offerings across their respective partner bases starting immediately. But the cross-selling will further accelerate when the two companies integrate their IT systems sometime this year.

The NETXUSA acquisition proves that Ingram remains committed to M&A expansion, even as the company gets swallowed by a Chinese logistics giant. Indeed, Tianjin Tianhai’s is spending $6 billion to Ingram Micro. The deal is expected to be approved later this year.

Joe Panettieri

Joe Panettieri is co-founder & editorial director of MSSP Alert and ChannelE2E, the two leading news & analysis sites for managed service providers in the cybersecurity market.