After gathering about 2,000 customer representatives in front of 80 key vendor partners last week, reseller giant Insight is looking to kick on with its cloud and mobility plans.
The annual Insight Technology Show (pictured, left) took place on Friday at Old Billingsgate market in the City of London. EMEA president Stuart Fenton explained that the day gave Insight the chance to demonstrate the breadth of its product and services portfolio to a wide range of clients.
"It is very difficult to present every product to every client, but this is a wonderful opportunity to have 2,000-plus face-to-face meetings," he said. "Often the event generates a great deal of business."
Fenton claimed that "cloud computing is now the number one talking point with every client", having come from being "barely in the top 10" a couple of years ago.
"Private cloud remains the most common route to the cloud that our customers are taking, but I believe that will change over time," said Fenton. "BYOD is also right up there [in customers' thoughts] for different reasons. The likes of the iPad bring a really interesting dynamic to the boardroom."
Insight has been making a big noise of late about its burgeoning cloud business and announced in December that it now manages more than one million users through the service. Fenton claimed the same principles that have allowed Insight to thrive as a reseller applied to being a cloud broker.
"We have developed a solution that makes the reseller incredibly relevant in the cloud, which we believe is ahead of the market," he said. "We provide a portal that enables you to control your access to multiple cloud services from divergent suppliers.
"It's the reason the reseller exists – to consolidate the supply chain. That is why there is a reseller channel. Nobody wants to go to HP to buy their HP, IBM to buy their IBM and NetApp to buy their NetApp. They want to have one or two relationships where they can buy their technology."
Keep taking the tablets
The Insight chief (pictured, right) also claimed the tablet space is becoming more fruitful. In September last year the VAR unveiled a range of services it hopes will earmark it as Apple's partner in the enterprise arena. Fenton also claimed the upcoming dawn of Windows 8 tablet devices could make a big splash in the enterprise.
"Apple have embraced a part of the B2B reseller [space] that they haven't embraced since the early 90s," he said. "Large corporates are not going to buy their iPads from the Apple store or from a high-street retailer. They probably won't buy them from a classic Apple reseller either. I certainly think the iPad is becoming an enterprise product. And with Windows 8 the early indications are good."
Fenton added that executing an effective integration of Inmac, the German hardware specialist acquired by Insight earlier this year, would also be a key priority this year. The deal will give Insight more clout in Germany, Sweden and the Netherlands, he predicted. Fenton also hinted that the reseller might look at more deals that build on its European strength in the software arena.
"Fundamentally we expect to do acquisitions that help us accelerate our strategy, which is to be a [complete] provider of IT technology and solutions," he said. "In Microsoft licensing, we are number one; we expect that to continue but we believe that [software licences] cannot be sold alone. It is about the combination of high-tech hardware, software and services."
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