**Editor’s Note: Please click here for a recap of the biggest channel-impacting merger and acquisition news from September and October.**
Distributor Ingram Micro is moving more into rival ScanSource’s territory with the purchase of The Phoenix Group, the St. Louis-based distributor of countertop and mobile point-of-sale products and services.
And in an interesting twist, a key player in the deal is the former president of ScanSource POS and Barcoding.
The Phoenix Group brings to Ingram expertise in electronic payments, an extensive payment key library and value-added POS deployment services. Combined with Ingram’s global scale and technological capabilities – including professional services and partner-enablement resources – the company will be able to offer capabilities “unmatched in the channel,” said Jeff Yelton, Ingram Micro’s vice president and general manager, advanced solutions. Yelton led the ScanSource POS and Barcoding unit from 2005-2012.
The Phoenix Group also touts well-established business relationships; a team of highly skilled sales professionals; authorized repair facility capabilities for VeriFone, Ingenico, MagTek, RDM, PAX and TechTrex; and immediate access to new customers and sales channels, including into Canada.
ScanSource, for whom barcoding and POS is the bread and butter, now has an even more formidable foe in this space.
“The Phoenix Group has earned all major network, PCI and P2PE certifications, which opens up new opportunities for Ingram Micro’s customers to grow their businesses in the POS market,” said Yelton. “The Phoenix Group’s capabilities also provide our partners with immediate access to the payment processing keys necessary for electronic payments … ; the ability to maintain and upgrade those devices; and access to next-level POS technology.”
The acquisition is big for the distributor’s large number of resellers who can leverage those certifications to dive deeper into POS and payments, and perhaps make strides into vertical markets such as retail and hospitality.
A market watcher, commenting on the perilous nature of the retail and hospitality verticals – unless you count Amazon and Airbnb among your customers – expressed to Channel Partners some reservations about the deal.
“Clearly there is a ‘keeping up with the ScanSource/Intelisys-es‘ element here,” she said. “Would it have been more strategic to snap up a maker of devices for health care, next-gen manufacturing or education? Perhaps.”
The Phoenix Group will operate as an extension of Ingram’s advanced solutions division.
“Combining our assets and expertise with … Ingram Micro allows us to deliver greater value to our customers and partners to help accelerate their business success in an industry that continues to grow in scope and demand,” said Scott Rutledge, former CEO of The Phoenix Group, who will remain with the company to help further accelerate growth. “Additionally, this combination provides significant benefits to our customers who can now access Ingram Micro’s end-to-end solutions portfolio, including life-cycle services, cloud-based offerings and a world-class supply chain.”
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