In recent weeks, Ingram Micro changed the name of its consumer technology solutions (CTS) to something new: Business and Consumer Solutions (BCS). And the reasons may excite you.
During a recent conversation with Craig Birmingham, Ingram Micro’s vice president of the business unit, we learned more about the reasons behind the change, a few trends in the market and how Ingram Micro is expanding its support for this growing segment.
Why did Ingram Micro change the CTS name to Business and Consumer Solutions?
As we’ve expanded over the years, we needed to create a name that better reflects the real opportunity in the market. On the consumer side, we have a lot of resellers that sell direct to consumers through e-commerce, but there’s also been a huge trend to sell to SMB and even mid-tier business. So, the target audience is no longer just the end user, but also the business professional.
Essentially, the line between consumer and business needs is no longer blurred—it no longer exists. Often times, the question is not what’s the most powerful solution, but what’s the most cost-effective, and some solutions work for both. For example, to communicate with partners on the other side of the country, all a business needs is a good laptop and Skype for Business.
When is the name change effective?
Immediately. We announced the change at our Consumer Technology Solutions Expo, held in San Diego in April.
What are some other trends in the market?
At the Expo, helping attendees realize their opportunities to sell new technologies and experiences to their customers—supported by ONE Ingram Micro—was a recurring theme.
Today, connectivity starts the second you wake up. People's expectations for their home networks are just as high as for their office networks. The original consumer mix was TVs, smart devices, drones, virtual reality and gaming, but now we also see a lot more purchases around networking. Everyone is on Wi-Fi and owns smart TVs and other devices that demand a powerful, secure home network.
Security is also a big deal—and another area that’s growing. All of our smart devices are great, but they’re not secure. How do you secure a smart lightbulb in a home network, for example? We sell a vendor called Eero that takes your wireless network at home and any smart device connected to it, and scrambles their computations for security through a process called hyperthreading. It can scramble the Wi-Fi in the home, as well as the office.
How is Ingram Micro supporting the new demand for business solutions in this area?
Market development experts are there to support all the devices being used in these solutions—and we’re also educating resellers on them. We also offer financial solutions and some cloud offerings that tie in.
BCS recently acquired Ingram Micro’s Imaging Solutions group, which specializes in solutions for 3D print, textile print, latex print and more. Print hasn’t gone away; it’s becoming more prevalent, especially in 3D solutions for manufacturing, and we’re responding to that need.
Drones are important, too—it’s not just for people flying GoPros for entertainment. There’s growing opportunity in state and local governments because drones can be used in search and rescue operations and to help determine how to attack fires or deal with floods. We recently added the top drone OEM in the world, which helps us support this opportunity.
What are other areas of focus?
Ingram Micro is also focused on expanding our offerings in these categories:
- Desktop and notebook PCs
- Smart home and smart devices
- Networking and security
What’s your advice for resellers?
Don't ever think there isn’t an opportunity to sell something from Business and Consumer Solutions. The key to finding out is engaging with our team.
For example, on our consumer line card, we do a lot of business in the government and education space—not just Chromebooks, but things like virtual reality (VR) for education. We just closed a multimillion-dollar opportunity for a school district that’s using VR to teach geography. VR is also huge in real estate and in healthcare to help train medical students via virtual surgeries. So there’s always an opportunity.
To learn more about how BCS can help you close new opportunities, contact the experts at Ingram Micro today. Call us at (800) 733-6766.
This guest blog is part of a Channel Futures sponsorship.