Ingram Micro Helps Partners Take Digital Transformation Projects Across The Goal Line

Ingram Micro is on hand -- literally on-site at times -- to assist partners in bringing projects across the goal line.

Ingram Micro partners who are going after big digital transformation deals are getting a hand from the distributor to help make the projects a reality.

Support from Ingram Micro and other solution providers via Ingram Micro’s Trust X partner community was key to helping Managed Business Communications, a 24-person Cisco Meraki solution provider, tackle a massive digital transformation project involving a grocery store chain, said Ernie Dellamo, president of the Hackettstown, N.J., company.

The project’s phase one involved upgrading the wireless capabilities of 370 stores to provide location-based services for tracking customers as they shop and generating coupons based on potential interests, Dellamo said. Ingram Micro provided the technical expertise to do the project in a way Managed Business Communications could never do on its own, including sending three Ingram Micro technicians per store to spend two nights on support in up to 40 stores per week, he added.

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“If we go head-to-head by ourselves against larger IT companies, we’re the little guy,” Dellamo said. “But if we have a buddy like Ingram Micro standing behind us, supporting us, customers know we can handle the project.”

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Ron Dupler, CEO of Kittery, Maine, solution provider GreenPages Technology Solutions, No. 201 on the 2019 CRN Solution Provider 500, said customers are moving toward digital transformation because of the need for speed and agility, as well as the need to adopt new business capabilities to take advantage of artificial intelligence, machine learning, big data and analytics.

Ingram Micro has supported GreenPages’ digital transformation activities via its cloud business, especially through its CloudBlue cloud commerce platform, Dupler said. It also has provided support via services, training and enablement, including offering CenturyLink’s Private Cloud platform for customers in highly regulated environments, he said.

GreenPages in August unveiled its Cloud Xcelerator Platform, a reference architecture for helping customers move to the cloud. “This took off for us,” Dupler said. “Ingram Micro helped us with migrations, on-boarding people and moving workloads to the cloud.”

These kinds of partner successes come as the distributor is boosting its investment in digital transformation.

Ingram Micro has expanded its professional training and services capabilities as partners increasingly look beyond products, DevOps and API management. It also recently rebranded its Professional Services Business as Digital Transformation Services.

That new focus is spearheaded by Greg Richey, director and general manager for Ingram Micro’s Digital Transformation Services, who defines digital transformation as the intelligent digital connection between people, things and business to drive intelligent outcomes. About 80 percent of partners surveyed by Ingram Micro said they need to move into digital transformation, Richey said.

“Everything is moving to digital,” he said. “Everything is focused on the outcome. We see the new paradigm for business success in collecting the data and then accessing it for business outcomes and user experience, and for increasing business efficiency.”

Awareness of the importance of digital transformation in the channel has been building for a long time and is now very much on the mind of solution providers, said Karl Connolly, chief technologist for Ingram Micro.

Because customers depend on solution providers to meet the requirements for an increasingly digital world, Ingram Micro has invested in educating partners to be able to work with their customers’ initiatives, Connolly said.

This includes the Cloud Practice Builder Program, which walks solution providers through a nine-step process to ensure they have the necessary tools and people, and the Security Practice Builder Program, which focuses on helping solution providers guide their customers through any concerns they have about security.

Ingram Micro also brings solution providers emerging digital transformation technologies from leading vendor partners such as CenturyLink, which Connolly said helps solution providers build hybrid cloud solutions combining on-premises, private cloud and public cloud capabilities.

The distributor also is working with T-Mobile, Sprint and AT&T to build 5G platforms that solution providers can use for emerging capabilities such as IoT, he said.

“IoT is a huge focus at Ingram Micro,” he said. “We can also bolt on wireless testing and so on and wrap it all up into digital transformation. We want to help customers ride the coming waves like 5G and Wi-Fi 6. And both are coming fast.”