Ingram has launched a brand new Advanced Solutions Division in Europe as it looks to strengthen its value-added distribution offering.
Aimed at capitalising on the growing demand for convergence in the small and mid-market space, the distribution behemoth claims it will deliver greater opportunity, specialisation and value to resellers who sell higher-end technology solutions and services.
The new division, headquartered in Brussels, is to be led by Jason Beal, the recently appointed executive director and general manager of the division, with dedicated teams in each of the 11 countries in which the division will operate.
Speaking to CRN, Beal said: “The value-added distribution (VAD) model of old was around big iron such as servers and storage, but the new VAD model is about helping to broaden resellers’ sell to SMB and mid-sized businesses. The emergence of convergence is strong – everything that the channel anticipated around convergence such as voice, video and digital signage is now a reality and is becoming a real driver for business and how it works with traditional IT. But customers are now asking whether they should pay upfront or opt for an as-a-service model.
“We are seeing the democratisation of IT and a growing appetite from customers of all sizes that want emerging and complex technology. We are able to offer enterprise-level solutions to small and mid-market customers that just has not been affordable in the past. And it is all about choice – can we offer resellers choice, and can they then offer choices to their customers?”
Beal said Ingram had carried out a number of customer surveys to understand what their needs are and said the distributor’s involvement in the Channel Transformation Alliance (CTA) had helped shape its strategy.
“The IT landscape is changing and the channel has an exciting and new opportunity for the reseller business model. The CTA is helping us understand how the channel is changing and collecting feedback on what they need from this new breed of VAD and what they need to help transform their business models.”
He added that resellers should also take a closer look at how their business is structured.
“Resellers should think about focusing on two primary elements – firstly pick a few technology areas and go big and deep, becoming very specialised in those areas – such as storage and UC. This will add value to end users and for any other technology needs they can leverage the ecosystem of the channel and draw on the skills of other resellers.
“Secondly they should look at expanding their business model beyond reselling technology. There is a real opportunity to grow around delivering services such as consulting, change management, application development and integration. By doing these things you can make yourself even more valuable to your customers.”
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