As Ingram Micro Cloud Summit 2018 approaches, we're talking with some of our executives to gain their perspective on the state of cloud and digital transformation, what challenges and opportunities await our partners, and what partners can expect to take away from Cloud Summit. Renée Bergeron, senior vice president of Global Cloud at Ingram Micro, recently shared her thoughts on these topics.
Q. The overarching theme for this year's Cloud Summit is Infinite. Can you tell us what Infinite means to you as we talk about cloud, Ingram Micro and Cloud Summit?
A: Technology impacts every aspect of our business and personal lives, and can now be consumed in various and seemingly limitless ways. That's why we've embraced the concept of Infinite for this year's Cloud Summit. Infinite means no limits and no barriers. This not only applies to every aspect of technology, it also profoundly impacts how our partners do business.
Acquiring and managing customers has changed: Partners are no longer limited by the geographies where they have salespeople, or by the amount of cold calls a salesperson can make in a single day. Generating demand and selling services has changed: partners are no longer limited by mailers and phone calls. The way we are delivering services has changed: partners are no longer limited by the number of hours they can bill in a single day. And supporting and delighting customers has changed: partners are no longer limited by the number of calls an agent can take in a single day.
Digitization opens up an ecosystem built to help partners develop and grow their businesses in ways that didn't exist in the past. The opportunities are truly infinite, and that's what we are celebrating and exploring at Cloud Summit.
Q: If partners are interested in building or growing their cloud business, what are some of the first steps they should take?
A: Ingram Micro has developed a complete blueprint, a franchise kit if you will, for partners starting out or looking to grow their cloud businesses. This comprehensive franchise kit helps partners who have invested and developed their cloud business already to accelerate it to the next stage of maturity and growth. We'll be sharing the specifics of the franchise kit at Cloud Summit.
Q: How is Ingram Micro Cloud helping current partners build their cloud businesses?
A: In the past four years, Ingram has launched cloud businesses in 47 countries. We've mastered the art of launching a cloud business, and are sharing what we've learned with our partners.
The franchise kit I mentioned is one valuable way we're helping our partners. It covers every aspect resellers need to consider when launching a cloud business, including financials, sales strategy, sales operations, marketing, solution development and execution, and customer support.
Q: What are some of the biggest challenges facing your partners today? And in the next several years?
A: The proliferation of the technology platform and consumption model is probably one of the biggest challenges for partners today. There are literally hundreds of new ISV solutions entering the market each week. For each solution, partners need to understand what problems it solves, whether the ISV is viable, and whether it resolves the business problems experienced by customers.
Busy partners simply don't have the time to research each cloud service to determine how to bundle them into business solutions for their customers. Ingram Micro does this work for our partners, identifying and vetting ISVs that address real business problems in innovative and sustainable ways.
Another significant challenge for partners is how to transform their business from a one-time revenue model, where they sell solutions composed of hardware, software and services to a recurring revenue model, while effectively maintaining their cash flows. Ingram Micro provides programs to help partners maintain their cash flows as they transform their business into a recurring revenue model.
Q: Why should partners attend Cloud Summit?
A: Every year, partners tell me they attend for opportunities to network, meet new vendors and benefit from the thought leadership of industry experts.
Cloud Summit is a unique opportunity for partners to network with different types of businesses from all around the world and hear directly from their peers about their experiences and best practices. Partners can meet with numerous cloud service providers, ISVs and vendors. They'll have opportunities to watch demos and get hands-on in the labs, so they can really understand how the solutions we offer solve real business problems for our partners' customers.
Cloud Summit is a visionary event that looks at the future and the technology evolution and helps partners understand how the trends and outcome can create both threats and opportunities for their businesses.
Q: If there was one step you'd recommend partners take to position their businesses for success, what would it be?
A: I would encourage partners to leverage digitization to reinvent how they go to market and how they approach the customer experience in the digital area. And of course, I'd recommend they come see us at Ingram Micro Cloud Summit 2018.