Ingram Micro will release a “digital twin” platform called Xvantage this summer with the goal of improving the learning, partnering and buying experience for Ingram customers and partners in a variety of channel partner programs.
The platform has several proprietary engines enhanced by artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML). The platform aims to save channel partners time on emails and manual process ordering while providing recommendations based on business data, among other goals, according to a statement from the Irvine, Calif.-based distributor.
“It’s really like having a $54 billion company backing these partners up to actually advance their business, making them better, profitable, create and capture value,” Sanjib Sahoo, Ingram Micro’s executive vice president and global chief digital officer, told CRN in an interview. Xvantage is “not like a website or an e-commerce (platform). And why do I say that? To say that is because it’s a platform for our partners, employees, vendors, everyone. It’s an ecosystem.”
[RELATED: Ingram Micro Unveils Digital Transformation Initiative, Hires Amazon, Facebook Talent]
Ingram Micro previewed the Xvantage platform this week during its Cloud Summit 2022 event held in-person in Miami Beach. Unlike major vendor events held during the COVID-19 pandemic, which were online only or featured an online component, Ingram Micro held its summit only in-person without any sessions streaming online.
Hans Mize, founder and CEO of Data41 – an Irvine, Calif.-based IBM partner and Ingram Micro customer since 2009 – told CRN in an interview that he sees a lot of potential in the platform’s approach to “proactive interaction.”https://a4f7bf48c2be6bd110300bcddffdd78e.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html
“My company has our systems, Ingram has their system and manufacturers have their system – and the new Xvantage platform is going to make all three our system,” Mize said. “It’s more what I’d say is ‘proactive interaction.’ So you’re not just calling up your Ingram rep or placing data into a system. What you’re doing is you’re working together, and then you have a chance to reflect on the data that the system provides you.”
Sahoo joined Ingram Micro last year and formed a Global Digital Solutions organization to oversee the distributor’s digital transformation initiatives, even recruiting big names from Amazon and Facebook to figure out how to improve the experience for Ingram Micro’s partner business customers.
“The approach is – create that same platform experience and product experience as we do for hardware, software, subscription, everything, in the platform,” Sahoo said.
The new platform comes during a period of major change for how a variety of vendors work with their partners. Microsoft, for example, has unveiled its “new commerce experience” and rolled out sweeping changes for partners, including reducing the number of sales motions from 20-plus to three and announcing plans to retire its gold and silver rankings for partners, replacing them with six designations.
Distributors such as Ingram Micro have played a major role thus far in helping Microsoft partners adapt to the sweeping partner program changes this year.
Amazon Web Services, in another example, has retired its consulting and technology partner types and introduced five paths for partners to streamline the program, simplify engagement and expand partner access to benefits.
The cloud giant has also expanded its relationship with distributors including Ingram Micro, Pax8 and TD Synnex.
Along with recent major changes for multiple vendors and their channel partner programs, Ingram Micro itself is in a transition period. The company was acquired by private equity company Platinum Equity last year for $7.2 billion and promoted Paul Bay – former head of Ingram Micro’s North America business for the past nine years – to CEO this year.RELATED TOPICS:
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