Disaster at the Ingram Micro Pavilion

By John Honovich, Published Apr 01, 2012, 12:00am EDT

What a horrible first impression. Determined to take the physical security industry by storm, IT mega distributor Ingram Micro pulled out all the stops at ISC West 2012, failing in dramatic fashion. In this note, we review the effort, share pictures of their pavilion and our analysis of what went wrong.

Among the more notable elements of the pavilion:

  • Giant space comprised of 3 full halls
  • Dozens of random vendors all with small table top setups (Trendnet, SonicWall, etc.)
  • Presentation area that very few attended
  • IBM's exhibit demonstrated an out of date version of Milestone

Here it is 'busy' mid morning on Thursday:

The poor attendance was all the more startling compared to the bustling crowd and record setting attendance on the main show floor, just a few steps away from the pavilon.

Here is a view from the side showing the various table top setups:

[link no longer available]

Here is the presentation area during the middle of a talk:

[link no longer available]

Key Problems

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We saw 3 key problems:

  • Low Attendance
  • Poor Look and Feel
  • Unclear Messaging

Low Attendance

While pretty much everyone walked by the pavilon, hardly anyone went in. Traffic was consistently and shockingly low. Without traffic, it does not matter how good an offering is.

Poor Look and Feel

Going from the main exhibits to the Ingram Micro Pavilion was like switching from a Cirque du Soleil show to a high school play. While the show floor features hundreds of expertly crafted boothes with scores of huge monitors and demonstrations, the Pavilion had boring table top setups and stacks of literature.

Unclear Messaging

Not only did it look bad and people largely avoided it but when you went in, it was hard to get any answer to what Ingram Micro was doing. We went in three times, asking to learn more about Ingram Micro's approach to physical security but no one could help us. Despite the pavilion having a few dozen table top stands, no area was dedicated to explaining what Ingram Micro was doing in general. The closest thing was a stack of Ingram Micro brochures.

The Future

Obviously, a bad start. Not many people learned much about Ingram Micro nor did they come away impressed. On the other hand, Ingram Micro is a mega corporation that did $36 Billion in revenue last year. While their profits are poor and they wasted significant money at ISC West, they do have the resources to recover. It will be interesting to see if they can, or if like convergence itself, their physical security efforts will crash and burn.

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