Ingram Floats More Cloud

Zacks

Having witnessed the soaring demand for cloud computing and eagerness to transform into cloud infrastructure, Ingram Micro Inc. (IM) is increasing focus on cloud offerings. This week, we noticed some new developments within Ingram’s portfolio.

In its recently held Cloud Summit, an annual partner program, Ingram’s North America Services Division announced a bunch of new cloud-based product and service offerings. With these new products, Ingram’s Cloud Marketplace (a one-stop shop for cloud offerings from various vendors) can now offer more than 100 solutions from 40 various technology vendors across North America. The new products and services will be made available to all channel partners within a month. The offerings include those from tech heavy-weights Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN) and Salesforce.com Inc. (CRM).

The addition of Amazon.com’s Web-services will be beneficial for Ingram, since the online retailer, with its strong base in North America, provides access to technology infrastructure that developers can use to enable various types of virtual businesses.

Amazon will provide Ingram’s customers with two services, namely Amazon Simple Storage Service and AWS Storage Gateway. These two services are expected to provide customers with fast, cheap and secured data storage and retrieval.

On the other hand, Ingram will resell Salesforce.com’s Force.com platform. This platform-as-a-service helps in the development of multi-tenant applications to be run on servers.

Ingram is one of the biggest players in the IT distribution business. The company’s geographical diversity makes it a logical choice for manufacturers seeking to increase international exposure. The channel partners also get exposure to various technology providers’ offerings under one roof. Moreover, Ingram’s continuous product enhancement and partner addition activities will keep it ahead of peers such as Avnet Inc. (AVT), Arrow Electronics Inc. (ARW) and Tech Data Corp. (TECD).

We find Ingram Micro’s first quarter results impressive as the bottom line was well ahead of the Zacks Consensus Estimate. The company has provided a positive but cautious second quarter guidance. But we believe that support from its Australian venture and the improving IT spending trend will help Ingram post better results ahead.

We remain fairly optimistic about Ingram Micro’s strategic relationship with network giant Juniper Networks Inc. (JNPR), as well as tech giants such as Hewlett-Packard Company (HPQ), IBM Corp. (IBM) and Microsoft Corp. (MSFT).

The company’s growing SMB exposure and improving profitability is encouraging, but its significant European exposure and debt burden are concerns.

Currently, Ingram Micro has a Zacks #3 Rank, implying a short-term Hold rating.

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