Ingram to attack networking market

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Ingram to attack networking market

Ingram Micro is to launch a renewed push into the networking space and believes it can turn itself into the largest and most profitable player in Europe over the next few years.

Greg Spierkel, Ingram Micro's European president, admitted the company had come to the table late in Europe, but said it would be drawing together its networking capabilities across its strongest countries and would use them to attack the market as a whole.

"We will share inventory. We deal with Cisco in five countries in Europe and in Germany we are its second largest distribution centre. We can leverage that on a Europe-wide basis," he said.

Spierkel added the company could achieve its aim despite its lack of a Cisco franchise in some territories, including the UK, and despite the strong challenge presented by networking specialists such as Landis and Azlan.

"This is to do with customer breadth - we reach a lot more
of them already and if we can execute well in new areas we will be very competitive. We've got an Azlan-like company in our organisation but we haven't harnessed that around Europe yet - now we are," he promised.

But Spierkel ruled out easing the company's entry into the market by actually buying a networking group such as Azlan. "I wish I'd done it two or three years ago when it was cheaper, but we had some issues of our own. I still think it is kind of rich and its expectations would be high," he said.

Mike Watkins, managing director of Landis UK, dismissed Spierkel's ambitions as "laughable". "It has had the last ten years to be number one and it hasn't done it," he said.

Watkins added that he didn't see Ingram as a serious threat in the UK.
"If anyone is making inroads, it's C2000. The first thing Ingram needs to do is catch up with C2," he said.

Dominic Hall and Sarah Stokely-Willcox

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