Ingram Micro Embraces CES; Other Distributors QuietBy Sharon Linsenbach | Print
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While other distributors take a quiet, behind-the-scenes approach to CES, Ingram Micro will use the venue to showcase products from its V7 division.Most distributors say next week's CES just isn't their bag, but Ingram Micro is using the show as an opportunity to highlight its V7 division for enterprise and consumer products.
An Avnet spokesperson said no Avnet employees would attend the show, while a Tech Data spokesperson told The Channel Insider that while the distributor wouldn't have a booth or announce any news, several executives would be checking out the show and meeting with customers and vendors.
Ingram Micro, however, will use CES to bring its V7 brand to the attention of the North American market this year after a successful 2006 expansion into Asia, Australia, Mexico and Brazil in 2006, said Jeffrey Freiderichs, director, global marketing and North American sales.
Initally, V7 will focus on LCD televisions and monitors, GPS devices, cabling and accessories like flat-panel TV and monitor wall mounts, batteries, toner and notebook carrying cases, all currently available now through Ingram Micro resellers, Friederichs said.
Friederichs said that while industry perception was of V7 products like GPS, LCDs and wall mounts as strictly a consumer endeavor, those products fit in well with Ingram's digital signage division, an area the distributor was focusing heavily on in 2008. He also said that GPS was a growing enterprise concern because of the corporate car fleet management applications. "We sold 3 million units in 2006, we estimate 10 million units in 2007, and there'll be even more growth this year," he said.
In 2008, the company plans to expand into other types of products such as mice, keyboards, speakers and surge protectors, he said. The products will compete with second- and third-tier vendors whose price points are higher and who don't offer an extensive support and service infrastructure, Freiderichs said. V7 currently partners with tier-one OEMs like Belkin, which manufactures V7's cabling offerings, he said.