Day One of Ingram ONE: Digitization Is Not About Automation, It’s About Experience

The company talked about new visions, their emphasis on customer-led conversations and program updates.

Allison Francis

November 8, 2022

5 Min Read
Kirk Robinson onstage at Ingram Micro ONE 2022

Ingram ONE 2022 — Ingram Micro kicked off their Ingram ONE event Tuesday with a rousing keynote session, featuring several executives and partners. The key themes focused on imagination, mindset, DX + CX (digital transformation + customer experience) and services-led. Ingram Micro is one of the major sponsors of the MSP 501 awards program.

Kirk Robinson, executive vice president and president, North America, Ingram Micro, (shown above onstage) welcomed the crowd and applauded partners for thriving in the face of adversity (aka the pandemic). Despite the pitfalls, partners were able to accelerate digital transformation and hybrid work environments. And they continue to do so, said Robinson, in the face of a possible recession. This is supported by Gartner’s forecast that in 2023, IT global spending will hit $4.6 trillion.


“With Ingram, the way for us to win is to be completely customer-obsessed,” said Robinson. “To deliver real value to our partners. What does [this kind of value] mean? It used to be, how many modems could we deliver? Oh how the times have changed. And so has what businesses come to value. Ingram has taken this to heart. Customers are asking for complexity to be removed to help their business grow faster and do more for their customers… We have ask ourselves, “What can Ingram do about this?”” 

Robinson also announced updates to Ingram’s Xvantage program. Configuration-to-order and quote-to-order capabilities have been added, plus personalized insights and recommendations designed to improve and further enhance the experience. Adoption is happening throughout North America and Germany, with growing adoption in Italy, LATAM and other regions.

Ingram Micro plans to announce additional countries by the end of 2022. The company also plans to introduce the digital experience platform to their vendors in early 2023. This means more insights, functionality and built-in automation, including credit increases, renewal automation, subscription management, bundles and solutions, special pricing, etc. This will be announced and available from the Xvantage platform in the months ahead.

New CEO, New Visions

Ingram is also investing in advanced solutions, such as cloud, data centers and cybersecurity. Continual conversations with partners are vital to this growth, as is bringing in a CEO with a background uniquely suited to help Ingram understand what MSPs actually need in these areas. 

Paul Bay, who became CEO of Ingram Micro this year, joined Robinson on stage to share his vision for the company, and how being partner-led is an integral part of that vision.

“We put the customer in the middle of everything we do,” said Bay. “That’s our driver — we’re always going to be channel partner-led. We want to be the businesses behind your  brand, ahead of the market. We want a good mix of talent, also, which helps lead innovation.” 

Bay went on to say that the industry can get tied up in reactive tendencies, instead of proactive ones. The market temperature has a lot to do with that, of course.


Paul Bay (right) joined Kirk Robinson onstage to share his vision of Ingram Micro’s future.

“The market has slowed down in some areas of technology, especially as we go hybrid,” said Bay. “There are a lot of areas that are growing quickly – cloud, for example. The demand is there. Companies are modernizing. How are people securing their data? How are they digitizing their businesses? The customer and end user expectations are changing. There’s a consumerization of that. They, and we, want to focus on that value creation.”

Ingram as a Business Partner

So, three years from now, what will Ingram look like as a business partner? 

“We want to be a platform company,” said Bay. “We want to be the business behind all of the partners — their feedback is what creates Ingram’s’goals and objectives. Ultimately, we want to help achieve the right business outcomes for our partners, provide more value and be even more of a strong partner. We want to make sure we’re not just transacting, but interacting.” 

Digital Fitness

Next to the stage was Sanjib Sahoo, executive vice president and chief digital officer, Ingram Micro. Sahoo talked about digital fitness being very much like physical fitness, except that physical fitness is a lifestyle change, digital fitness is a mindset change. 

“It’s not about technology — it’s not the most important factor,” said Sahoo. “It’s about people, not technology.”


Sanjib Sahoo told the crowd, “It’s about people, not technology.”

More than 80% of digital transformations fail, according to Sahoo. More than half of the Fortune 500 have disappeared since the year 2000. Organizations that fail to address the opportunity gap are prone to falling from market dominance. 

“We must challenge our limits, not limit our challenges. You must look at what doesn’t work when big change happens,” said Sahoo. 

In terms of digital transformations, Sahoo has learned a few valuable lessons. 

“You can’t just build a product and go to market,” he said. “Innovation first, adoption second doesn’t work. It has to be continuous. If you automate crap, your experience will be crap. Digitization is no longer about automation, it is about experience. Experience first, and automation follows.”

There is no safe transformation, Sahoo went on to say. It’s always about balancing risk and reward. Keeping your eye on the value aspect. 

“You must integrate, operate and innovate all at the same time,” Sahoo concluded. “Perform while you transform.”

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


About the Author(s)

Allison Francis

Allison Francis is a writer, public relations and marketing communications professional with experience working with clients in industries such as business technology, telecommunications, health care, education, the trade show and meetings industry, travel/tourism, hospitality, consumer packaged goods and food/beverage. She specializes in working with B2B technology companies involved in hyperconverged infrastructure, managed IT services, business process outsourcing, cloud management and customer experience technologies. Allison holds a bachelor’s degree in public relations and marketing from Drake University. An Iowa native, she resides in Denver, Colorado.

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