Ingram Micro’s Kirk Robinson On Where Xvantage Is Headed Next
Here’s what Kirk Robinson said about how far Ingram Micro’s Xvantage platform has come, how it continues to act as a learning tool and where the platform is going next.
The Xvantage platform is all about being partner-focused, said Kirk Robinson, executive vice president and president of North America at Ingram Micro.
As partners’ needs evolve, so will the platform.
But the job is never done. Here’s what Robinson said about how far the platform has come, how it continues to act as a learning tool and where the platform is going next.
Xvantage was launched a year ago. Where did you want it to be today, and do you think you’ve accomplished that?
I would say we’re ahead of where we thought we would be today. This is a perpetual journey because we’re constantly looking at working with the partners to make sure we’re hitting all the needs they have and hitting needs they don’t know that they need. There’s no timeline as to when we’re saying, ‘OK, we’re done.’ I would say we’re very, very pleased with where we’re at and directionally where we’re heading.
How is Ingram Micro ahead of its Xvantage timeline, and where is it going next?
When we looked at what the functionality of a platform is and how we would work with our partners by bringing them an experience and looking at how our partners do business, we looked at all the things that we were doing before and how a platform enables us to do it in a more efcient manner.
There’s a lot to that statement because in our industry that business is very complex. When customers are ordering, there are so many vendors who all have programs and special pricing. It can go on and on in regards to how we work with our partners to help them procure IT solutions, including financial needs beyond just credit limits. So building all of that into the platform is happening quicker than we thought due to Sanjib [Sahoo, executive vice president and chief digital ofcer] and team. Then it’s really how do we make sure we keep pace with educating our partners so they’re aware of the functionalities that are coming out.
How is Xvantage contributing to the overall experience?
The way I view that is it’s taking our partners and our vendors to an experience, [and our services play a big part.] In the services area we hired [Vice President of Services] Paul Hager. Paul was a partner of ours and built and sold a couple of MSPs. To have him on our staf running all of our services is incredibly helpful to give us the visibility on the life of a partner and what their needs are. That allows him now to stay connected with our partners in the services area.
How do you get the learning aspect across?
Part of the digital transformation is educating the Ingram Micro team on all the functionalities and capabilities of the platform so that they can then go work with their partners. And we get feedback. I get feedback every week from the team on what the partners are saying, and it comes to me in positive, neutral and sometimes negative [terms].
That education, we knew, was built into the plan. It’s a very intuitive platform. Most of our partners can go in there and navigate the platform on their own, but we want to make sure we assist them and make sure they understand the functionalities, and that’s really the key. It’s the ability for us to take that complexity out, [which] gives the partners more automation and more efficiency.