The IT market tendencies and perspectives for 2018 in the United States, the most advanced marketplace in the world, will dictate the business rules for all the other countries for the next years in subjects such as IoT, AI, learning machine, SD-WAN cybersecurity.
Infor Channel Magazine talked with leaders of the most influential IT worldwide companies there to understand how the cloud, Communication Plataform as a Service, Management Service Provider, and WAN will support the large number of connected devices and how the channel can profit understanding the customer business as much as the technology and security matters in 2018 and the following years.
Tim FitzGerald, Vice President, Cloud Channel Sales, North America, Ingram Micro
Infor Channel – What is the main challenge of technology reseller for 2018, facing the current scenario of digital convergence and cyberattacks?
Tim FitzGerald – As consumption for IT solutions continues to accelerate to an as-a-Service (aaS) deployment model, technology resellers must adapt to these changes. This acceleration is putting greater demands on the speed of that transformation to support clients’ digital needs. Picking a partner to assist in that transformation has never been a more important choice. As always, security is a front-and-center design consideration of any solution regardless of deployment model.
IC – What are the major changes that must occur in the IT market by 2020 that are already impacting business right now?
TF – The move from product-centric to service-centric focus has been the key industry shift in the last decade, but things are ramping up. Businesses that don’t start taking advantage of as-a-Service (aaS) opportunities will struggle. They also need to think about the different ways people can buy these services, as people now expect to have personalized solutions available to them. At Ingram Micro, we are simplifying the aaS model for our channel partners and that’s a big differentiator.
IC – What is your strategy to act as a Value Added Distributer (VAD)?
TF – At Ingram Micro Cloud, we work collaboratively with all our partners to facilitate business transformation. In this transformation methodology, we provide the tools and solutions they need to grow and accelerate their business. We have a three pronged approach in providing (1) proactive enablement for all our partners, (2) platform and automation technology that is scalable and (3) an infinite ecosystem of managed cloud solutions. With this approach, solutions are available to our partners anywhere and at any time, empowering them to succeed in the digital economy.
IC – What is the best way to position offer, as a solution composed of services and products and gain attention from the manufacturer/IT developer to be your partner?
TF – In 2018, channel partners stand to win more business by keeping focus on solving the customer’s challenges with the next wave of technology innovations and expanding their portfolio beyond Office 365 to include other cloud-based aaS business applications. Additionally, selecting a cloud platform such as Ingram Cloud Marketplace provides a high-value, low-cost, low-risk solution for accelerated migration/deployment of as-a-Service IT solutions.
IC – Customers are increasingly interested in joining the SAAS model. How did the resellers solve the portfolio of offers in the US? How did your company define its portfolio?
TF – Resellers are always looking to represent the most relevant solutions that address their clients’ business needs. We pride ourselves at Ingram Micro in having the most robust ecosystem in the industry, with a the most comprehensive SaaS portfolio. This allows our resellers to deliver solutions most relevant for their customers. We continue to onboard innovative ISVs at a rapid pace to ensure we have the offerings needed for our resellers to be successful as they move to a SaaS selling model.
IC – What is the main value that IT distributors can add to Cloud Computing solution integration companies?
TF – Every month, we broaden our portfolio of cloud services and solutions. With the range and breadth of services available, we are a “one-stop shop”, meaning our channel partners can easily and quickly provide end-to-end “on demand” solutions to their customers from a single source on a single invoice. Lastly, through simplification and automation via our cloud platform, we provide substantial costs efficiency for our partners.
IC – After the global attacks caused by malware such as Petya and WannaCry, was it possible to see a greater demand for information security solutions? In your opinion, what did the attacks teach about safety for your customers?
TF – Customers must remain diligent to protect their systems and their data. Security solutions provided by Ingram Micro provide industry leading value and protection for our partners. We must all remain vigilant in providing best of breed solutions.
IC – How should a team be built within the distributor to take care of a value line that sells solution and not volume of items? What are the qualifications and job positions should be considered in the sales team?
TF – At Ingram Micro, we have teams of sales, marketing, solutions, operations, support and many other associates all focused on bringing meaningful differentiation to our partners. We endevour to support partners as they develop new skill and competencies to expand their solutions and value to their customers.
IC – What are the key critical success factors for developing and maintaining a successful partnership with manufacturers?
TF – Ingram Micro Cloud has led the charge in digital transformation for all our partners. With over 25 million seats managed collectively, our ISV partners can tap into our ecosystem of more 44,000 of reseller partners and Ingram Micro Cloud Platform customers (and their millions of customers) across the globe. We work closely with over 90 vendor partners to ensure their cloud services are available to reseller and solution provider partners with ease and all the information needed to deliver end-customers the solutions they need, when and how they need it.