Computer Dealer News

CDN’s #10 Newsmaker of the Year – Bill Brandel

Rounding out our top 10 is a 20-year veteran of the IT sector. Bill Brandel completed his first full year at the helm of Ingram Micro’s Canadian subsidiary in 2017 after taking over from Mark Snider, who was promoted to the role of executive vice-president and group president of the EMEA region in 2016. Brandel helped CDN host its 2017 Women of the IT Channel event, where he delivered a heartfelt speech about the trials and tribulations experienced by his own mother.

Bill Brandel

From a wider company perspective, Ingram Micro Canada had an interesting year of trying new things. At the beginning of 2017, it partnered with Global Mobile Communications to sell a Dewalt-branded rugged smartphone built for the harsh Canadian climate. CDN put the phone to the test, throwing it into a couple of snow banks for good measure and we can report that it survived the punishment. In releasing the DeWalt MD501, the distributor showed its commitment to its Mobility and Lifecycle Services practice.

After the snow melted, Ingram Micro focused on strengthening its security offerings to Canadian partners by announcing an exclusive broadline distribution alliance with cyber security vendor ESET. The deal gave partners access to ESET’s volume incentive program and a facilitated process for securing quotes.

The cloud was another important area of focus for Ingram Micro, with a May announcement that it’d be extending its partnership with Acronis, which specializes in products for data protection in a cloud, virtualized, or on-premises context. With those products sold through Ingram Micro’s Advanced Solutions organization, channel partners could access incentives available through the Ingram Micro Cloud Marketplace. At the time, Brandel was quoted in a press release about the importance of building a security portfolio from a hybrid infrastructure point of view:

“With cybersecurity threats on the rise, businesses are adopting a combination of on-prem and cloud-based data protections solutions to ensure they are properly protected 24/7/365,” he said. “We’re pleased to build on the success of our Acronis business and provide our channel partners with a greater selection of on-premise and cloud-based data protection services that are easily integrated and managed as part of their existing IT service offering.”

Other notes from the year for Ingram Micro include two of its Trust X Alliance members merging in Edmonton-based Inc. and Courtenay, B.C.-based OnDeck Systems Inc. Trux X Alliance is Ingram Micro’s curated list of IT solution providers from around the world. Ingram Micro also made a partnership with Chinese-based TP-Link as it launched a full scale channel program in Canada this past year complete with a fresh new brand.