Ingram Micro Unveils Digital Transformation Initiative, Hires Amazon, Facebook Talent
Joseph F. Kovar
‘Our digital transformation is really creating platforms and systems that actually improve our experience for our customers and our partners. And it is all underlined with data and modernization that takes the complexity out so it becomes much more easier and stickier for partners to do business with us,’ says Sanjib Sahoo, Ingram Micro’s executive vice president and chief digital officer.
Ingram Micro Wednesday unveiled its newly formed Global Digital Solutions organization to oversee the distributor’s digital transformation initiatives.
The goal of the Global Digital Solutions organization is to help Ingram Micro’s channel partners and vendor partners quickly take advantage of new and improved platforms and see a significant increase in their customer experience, said Sanjib Sahoo (pictured), executive vice president and chief digital officer for the Irvine, Calif.-based IT distributor.
“So basically what they will see is that our own digital transformation is not just improving our systems,” Sahoo told CRN. “We’re really creating new platforms and systems that can actually help our customers engage with us better, create that single view in the single pane of glass, a very customized view. We will take all the complexity out in the back, and they’ll have a one-stop shop for them to interact with us, making it really easy for them to do business with us.”
To help make its Global Digital Solutions organization successful, Ingram Micro has expanded its team with several new high-level employees.
They include Ajay Agarwal as chief product and platform officer, formerly at Amazon Web Services; Andrea Chin, executive director of digital program management operations, previously with Estée Lauder; Zlatan Dzinic, executive director of enterprise and solutions architecture, previously with Amazon Studios, and Mukund Gopalan, chief data officer, previously with Facebook and Meta.
Ingram Micro’s new Global Digital Solutions organization and its digital transformation initiative is an interesting move on the distributor’s part, especially given the caliber of people it is bringing in to run it, said Mark Essayian, president of KME Systems, a Lake Forest, Calif.-based solution provider and member of Ingram Micro’s Trust X partner community.
“They have a lot of smart people,” Essayian told CRN. “Sanjib [Sahoo] is bringing on some great people. You can’t ignore what these people are doing. Ingram Micro understands what partners are facing, especially after the pandemic.”
Ingram Micro has gone through a lot of change in the 10-plus years since it unveiled its Seismic virtual services, Essayian said.
“Now they have CloudBlue,” he said. “Ingram Micro is doing things right. They have to be to get Platinum Equity to invest so much money in them. Ingram Micro is not in the business of wasting time and money.”
With Global Digital Solutions and its digital transformation initiatives, Ingram Micro is not just painting a pretty picture, Essayian said.
“It’s showing Ingram Micro understands what it needs to grow,” he said. “Sanjib has clarity. He knows what Ingram Micro and its partners need. Now he’s bringing in people with the ability to make life easier for us. I’m all about that. If someone makes the lives of MSPs easier, they’re doing the same for our customers.”
Ingram Micro wants to use digital transformation to make it easier for partners to work with the distributor, Sahoo said.
“We want to move from transaction to an interaction, make them sticky, create that entire experience platform, an experience that they can actually stick with us, get all the information, and find it easy to do business with us,” he said. “We are also going to give them data and insights that will help them do their business better.”
Ingram Micro wants to do the same for its vendor partners as well, Sahoo said.
“We are working with them to give data back, help them build their solutions, engage with them better,” he said. “And in certain cases where we are innovating and some of the vendors cannot, we are actually partnering with them to bring these solutions to them so that they can actually use them. For example, our Flexible Subscription Engine. Some of the vendors are already talking to us about integrating with our APIs and data so that they can also convert their SKUs and solutions to the flexible subscription model.”
At its heart, digital transformation is much more than running systems, Sahoo said.
“Our digital transformation is really creating platforms and systems that actually improve our experience for our customers and our partners,” he said. “And it is all underlined with data and modernization that takes the complexity out so it becomes much more easier and stickier for partners to do business with us and really create that enriched experience the solutions never had before.”
Sahoo declined to discuss Ingram Micro’s timeline for its digital transformation initiative, other than to say it is aggressive. He also declined to discuss how much Ingram Micro is investing in it.
“I cannot tell you the exact dollar number,” he said. “But I can tell you this is one of the [largest] investments that the company’s making right now. This is very strategic. You can hear Paul Bay, our CEO, talk about our journey as an anything-as-a-service technology company. So this is very, very important. This is one of the top strategic things we are working on across the company.”
Ingram Micro is relying on input from both its solution provider and its vendor partners in planning its digital transformation, with two directions in mind, Sahoo said.
“There are two parts to it,” he said. “One is, sometimes you have to build something for which there is a need. And sometimes you have to bring solutions to customers which they didn’t even think about. So there is an innovation component to it. There is obviously a component about listening to them, but there is also a component about being innovative and first to market and creating that ‘wow’ experience that we are working on.”