IT distribution

Live Blog: Ingram Micro ONE, Day Two

Ingram’s Alaine Monie
Alaine Monie

Ingram Micro CEO Alain Monié is set to address 2,000 VARs and vendors this morning at Ingram Micro ONE in Las Vegas. Ingram's $6 billion sale to a Chinese logistics giant apparently is on track to close this month. But what else is on Monié's mind? You're about to find out...

Check this blog entry regularly starting around 8:30 a.m. PT/11:30 a.m. ET on Wednesday, November 30. We'll have multiple updates from Monié and additional Ingram executives, along with perspectives from a CIO panel.

Best-Selling Author Seth Godin

He covered the shift from mass-marketing strategies to building true trust and relationships with your customers. The highlights...

  • Henry Ford taught us about productivity. His factory raised salaries from $0.50 per hour to $5.00 per hour because of the assembly line and automation.
  • The danger of the resulting culture: If you do what you are told you will be fine.
  • Another resulting danger: If you want to reach the masses then make something everyone wants to buy -- but that means you're making average products...
  • The idea that you need to market endlessly is "busted. We've branded ourselves to death."
  • The same problem faces IT services providers -- there's no scarcity of choice for customers seeking VARs and MSPs.
  • "Some people think Big Data is the market solution for figuring out who to spam, bother and sell-to. But Big Data is about what happened yesterday."

Some solutions from Godin:

  • Date your prospects. Turn strangers into friends, then turn friends into customers.
  • For the first time in human history, you can treat different people differently -- at scale. Speak to different people differently.
  • Our job used to be follow the leader and fit in. In the connection economy, value is created because people care about you, listen to you and trust you. Value is created by coordination, trust, permission and the exchange of ideas.
  • Be generous. Nobody wants to connect to a selfish person.
  • Our job is how to figure out how to be the connector.
  • As a VAR, climb the ladder and say "please give me something remarkable to sell."
  • The challenge with the race to the bottom is you may win. Even worse, you could come in second.
  • "It takes guts to make something slightly different at a higher price -- to take the risk."
  • Be like Steve Jobs: Understand when you have to say a product or service isn't good enough.
  • The cost of adjusting is lower than ever. Make constant course corrections. You're never perfectly on course.
  • To build a community, think about these words and apply them to your business: "People Like Us Do Things Like This."
  • Management vs. Leadership: Management is the assembly line -- do the same thing faster and more efficient. Leadership is "I don't know how to get there but you want to figure it out together to get there?"
  • "You best work is for change. But change has an ugly brother called Tension." Overcome the tension -- the fear -- that something may not work.
  • "The secret is to go to an edge that some people care about."

Ingram Micro CEO Alain Monié

  • About Ingram's pending $6B company sale to a Chinese logistics giant: "We will be able to invest faster and take bigger risks" he said, referring to Ingram's forthcoming shift to a privately held company status.
  • The company sale doesn't involve any type of "consolidation" between Ingram and the buyer. In other words, the deal is not about exiting any sectors or overlapping businesses -- because there is no overlap between buyer and seller.
  • The one-third rule: During travel he tries to spend one-third of his time with customers, one-third with vendors and one-third with employees to make sure Ingram remains close to its core audiences.
  • The big changes: The "as a service" trends means two things. First, the things partners need to develop are more around knowledge of vertical markets rather than the technologies themselves. The second is around the business model -- you need to be funded in a way that aligns with recurring revenues.
  • Among his key learnings: Don't just focus on the major trends. Because if it's a major trend then everybody else is all ready riding that bandwagon. "Successes don't come from the obvious trends," he added.

Ingram Q&A Session

  • On Community Engagement: Ingram has two core communities for VARs and MSPs -- including the SMB Alliance (250 members) and the TrustXAlliance (367 members) The latter is more formalized, with members partnering together on multiple deals. SMB Alliance is more about gaining peer-level networking, according to VP of Marketing Jennifer Baier Anaya.
  • On Future M&A: Ingram will continue to make potential acquisitions to address gaps that partners want filled, according to Paul Bay, Group President, Americas.
  • On Cloud: The Odin buyout from last year has allowed Ingram to control the roadmap for its cloud platform. An example: A new control panel will arrive in 2017, for instance, which will further ease how partners source and manage offerings from Ingram Micro Cloud, according to Renee Bergeron, SVP, Global Cloud. Also, self-service activation on the Ingram Micro Cloud is coming. Also, Ingram is moving to quarterly upgrades for its Odin platforms, which roughly 120 telcos and other service providers also run on their own.
  • SaaS Meets Hardware as a Service: Yes, Ingram sees the roads for software as a service and hardware as a service converging. Yes, Ingram will eventually give partners one dashboard to manage all subscription-based services -- hardware and software, multiple executives said.

Also, see our complete Ingram Micro ONE coverage here.

Joe Panettieri

Joe Panettieri is co-founder & editorial director of MSSP Alert and ChannelE2E, the two leading news & analysis sites for managed service providers in the cybersecurity market.