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Ingram Micro: Complex, Legacy Systems Not a Fit for Modern Channel

Ingram Micro exec Paul Bay described systems as “too manual and too antiquated” as he outlined investments in technology for partners.

Christine Horton

November 8, 2021

4 Min Read
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INGRAM MICRO ONE EXPERIENCE — Ingram Micro says it is on a mission to help the channel modernize its complex and legacy systems.

Paul Bay, executive vice president and president, global technology solutions,  kicked off the Ingram Micro ONE Experience virtual event Monday. He noted “how difficult it is to really provide a true customer life cycle around the technology we all sell.”

His comments follow the launch of Ingram’s Flexible Subscription Engine to help partners manage their recurring services revenue.

The distributor describes it as a fully automated subscription life cycle platform for its vendors and partners. The online computing engine has been designed to offer a frictionless experience for subscriptions and licensing.

Bay told attendees that vendor and partner feedback highlighted how the channel needs “to modernize the systems we all use.” He described them as “too manual and too antiquated from 40 years of legacy business processes.” These processes have “completely changed over the last two years of transforming within our industry,” he added.

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Ingram Micro’s Paul Bay

“For example, products are moving to be offered as a service,” said Bay. “Today, it’s a challenge to combine product offerings with software and cloud or consumption across the complete customer life cycle. We also need to attack the complexity of how we operate within the IT sales channel and the requirement of what I call ‘human putty.’ This is to connect hundreds of processes, tens of thousands of databases and disparate systems needed to provide a true higher-value solution.”

Bay also said that many partners are asking, “What is it going to take to simplify our entire supply chain and ensure we have more transparent line of sight?”

“These themes just aren’t about the way we transact products together. They’re about how we do business together. And when you add the complexity of too many tools that we all use, and the lack of standardization, or all the data that we have to access in an agile real-time format. It’s definitely not easy for any of us. We’ve got to do something about it.”

Investing in Partners’ Businesses

Bay said the distributor is “attacking these issues at the core.” He revealed Ingram Micro is “investing in better ways for all of you to run your business, operate your business better, and we’re investing in the people tools and technical expertise so that you can grow fast too.”

One example, he said, is cash flow.

“Fast growth begins with cash and solid cash flow cash flow is the lifeblood of any business. [It] makes it possible for your company to make the necessary strategic investments … toward a service-oriented, consumable business model. That’s why we created Ingram Micro financial solutions. It’s a big investment we’re making globally to ensure all of you have many options to drive your cash flow in a way that works best for your business.

“This isn’t your typical flooring financing or leasing. We’re funding cloud managed services, any new recurring revenue business, especially as you acquire or expand your current portfolio. The service business requires a lot longer sales cycle and scale is important in the adoption of those services across your entire customer base to help you drive higher cash flow.”

Elsewhere, Bay tackled the challenges partners face delivering professional services.

“Often professional services [are] limited by the amount of technical engineers you may have or certifications that they hold. Or even by the authorizations your company is eligible for. The last thing you need is to limit your growth potential.”

As such, Ingram Micro is “investing in global infrastructure of manage and professional services.” This includes the firm’s Centers of Excellence.

“These centers are designed to give you the people and expertise to add to your teams and serve more customers,” said Bay. “Our services are designed to complement your own or fill gaps where you can’t hire quickly enough or just don’t want to make a risky capital investment.”

Want to contact the author directly about this story? Have ideas for a follow-up article? Email Christine Horton or connect with her on LinkedIn.

 

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About the Author(s)

Christine Horton

Contributing Editor, Channel Futures

Christine Horton writes about all kinds of technology from a business perspective. Specializing in the IT sales channel, she is a former editor and now regular contributor to leading channel and business publications. She has a particular focus on EMEA for Channel Futures.

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