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GTDC Panel: Distribution Taking Ever-Changing Challenges Head-On

Whether it’s new investments, supply chain constraints or the move to Everything as a Service, distributors have the resilience to shift their business to better serve their partner communities, according to a panel of distribution executives at the GTDC Forum 2021.

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 Facilitating Everything as a Service  

Ingram Micro‘s Bay said distribution is key to facilitating the channel’s adoption of Everything as a Service.

Everything as a Service is a huge opportunity for the channel but still involves a lot of complexity, he said.

“It‘s one of the biggest shifts away from the technology itself to really the end users and their needs, which as we know is focused on the business outcome,” he said.

Bay divided the move toward Everything as a Service into three categories.

The first is new technologies and new partners. “Automation is the No. 1 technology spend category, and I think Forrester has it at somewhere about 90 percent growth,” he said. ”So businesses are using more automation and machine learning to help automate these manual processes and modernize ultimately the way they operate.”

These changes are not dependent on selling to an IT suite, Bay said. “It‘s a collaborative effort between both the technology side and the business side to implement these solutions,” he said.

The second category is the channel‘s adoption of marketplaces, Bay said.

“[Distributors] have all invested in marketplace strategies alongside our e-commerce strategies to accommodate this Everything-as-a-Service market growth and help provide transactional solutions for partners regardless of its licensing or products or types of products,” he said. ”Transactional models, in my opinion, need to be more flexible to accommodate these business models, and all of these needs need to be alongside the traditional product sales.”

The third category is the continued focus on customer experience, Bay said.

It now takes between eight and 10 vendors to make a solution for channel partners, which creates more complexity, he said.

“And [with] all of these complexities in solutions, we have to drive a more seamless customer experience, which is going to be even more critical. ... I believe the customer experience will be a bigger long-term value driver for technology over the industry transaction because it‘s going to come down to that better experience and greater adoption of the technology by the end user,” he said.


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