Businesses today are presented with a plethora of opportunities and challenges in the rapidly evolving digital landscape. To maintain a competitive edge, companies must proactively adopt and utilize emerging technologies to drive innovation and fuel growth. Even the distribution industry is not immune to this trend and is increasingly embracing next-generation technologies to overcome obstacles.
Ingram Micro, a leading national distribution company, offers innovative technology solutions to businesses. Rajeev Ranjan, Editor, Digital Terminal recently held an exclusive chat with Mr. Navdeep Narula, Executive Director - Mobility & Digital Operations, Ingram Micro India. The discussion revolved around rapidly changing digital environment, their offerings, growth opportunities and much more. Read the full conversation below:
Rajeev: Organizations across industries are rapidly embracing digital transformation, so how do you look at Ingram Micro’s digital journey so far? What are the key initiatives you are taking to further bolster your digital journey?
Navdeep: The term ‘digital transformation’ gained significant attention in the last few years, and organizations across verticals are eager to embrace it to drive and create more value. We at Ingram Micro have been passionate about embracing digital technologies and transforming business – at a larger scale – for quite some time now. We are a large technology distribution company, and we take pride in the fact that we are the enabler of digital transformation for various organizations worldwide. Operating in 160 countries and working closely with biggest global brands for over 40 years, Ingram Micro has played a major role in envisioning, implementing, and optimizing digital transformation journeys of partners and end customers through a wide range of technology solutions, including hardware, software, cloud, services, and everything in between.
So, in a way, our digital transformation is not limited to improving our processes and systems. Instead, it is an integrated, all-encompassing pursuit to help our vendors and partners enhance digital capabilities. To make the entire digital transformation journey more rewarding, we focus on creating platforms and systems that can redefine the experience for our partners. The launch of Ingram Micro Xvantage platform is the most significant initiative that we have taken in this regard recently. Xvantage is a fully intelligent, self-learning global experience platform that enables our associates, partners, and vendors to collaborate, interact, and transact in the most seamless manner. It helps in elevating learning, partnering, and buying experience for users, while allowing us to transform from a legacy distribution company to an infinite digital business model.
Rajeev: How do you help your business partners in this swiftly changing digital environment by leveraging the most emerging technologies?
Navdeep: It is an unfortunate fact that despite the access to all advanced technologies, the distribution industry has not been able to scale and transform at large. In this scenario, it becomes important for any distribution company, like us, to transform its legacy business processes and systems and optimize the overall IT channel ecosystem. Considering this, we have recently launched our Xvantage platform in India – which provides a one-stop-solution to learn, build, partner, manage, and buy technology-led solutions. We focus on bringing consumerization experience into IT distribution, so that the end users get a better experience in terms of buying, transacting, and interacting. That’s where Ingram Micro Xvantage platform can be a game changer.
Xvantage is an intelligent, AI-powered, self-learning ecosystem that ensures ease of doing business and provides amazing experience to our partners. It helps in driving complexities out by establishing a seamless digital connection among our associates, partners, and vendors. Xvantage leverages the real time data mesh containing 40+ years of operating and transactional data, which can be analysed and examined using the AI/ML algorithms to gather analytics-driven insights. These insights play a pivotal role in helping customers with relevant recommendations and ensuring them a personalized experience. Xvantage also offers the exciting prospect of offering, probably for the first time globally, platform experiences of intuitive transaction, tracking, customer service, insights & recommendations etc. in a B2B platform environment, even as these are known to be experiential characteristics of leading B2C platform companies.
Rajeev: How do you see the opportunities in the IoT and Mobility segments?
Navdeep: The Internet of Things (IoT) is a major driver of mobility in future. A comprehensive solution around IoT and Mobility can enable an organization to take the mobile-first approach. Once fully provisioned and optimized, IoT and mobility can help you reach a wider set of audiences and provide enriching experience with distinct devices and applications. IoT and mobility can also empower an organization to maintain seamless communication across departments, devices, and geographies. Additionally, it allows businesses to explore and identify key aeras of improvement regarding resource utilization, process optimization, and customer experiences. In short, the development in IoT and mobility segment will help organizations transform their workplace by establishing a seamless connection across physical and digital assets. IoT also has the ability of connecting edge sensors and data collectors to cloud, and this paves the way for increased demand around security of connected devices to protect the seamless flow of data from any sort of malicious attempt. Hence, there’s a lot of opportunities and scope in the IoT and Mobility segment.
Ingram Micro is a large national distributor of solutions around mobility distribution, logistics, supply chain, professional services, financial solutions, circular economy capabilities, etc. We are also moving towards new-age markets with a comprehensive services portfolio around end-to-end IoT solution build up and integration, while diversifying our solutions to meet the rapidly growing industrial, manufacturing, extended reality, and other business use cases.
Rajeev: Being a leading player in the distribution market, how challenging is it for you to maintain leadership? How do you manage to lead across various product categories?
Navdeep: Having sustained leadership in any industry requires an ability to envision the future, draw innovative strategies to be ready for the same and execute on well documented & ambitious milestones. In other words, I call this the i3 model – which stands for “identify (What)”, “innovate (how)” and increase (how much & when)”. The distribution market is no different; it takes lots of clarity, determination, and success-driven actions to stay ahead of the competition in this digital age. That’s why we take an all-encompassing approach towards identifying the target audiences, building relevant capabilities, and working collaboratively to accomplish the goal. We aspire to understand the market dynamics and major factors that influence buyers’ decisions. Our experts explore and analyse the target markets and club them with relevant product category, which helps us stay afloat in the stiffly competitive market. What has really helped us in the long run is to have built sustainable relationships with our partners and vendors with the foundation of transparency, predictability, and trust.
Rajeev: What is your vision in the competitive B2B tech market landscape?
Navdeep: B2B tech market landscape is undergoing through un unprecedented change currently. Organizations across the globe are embracing digital transformation, and there has been an exponential rise in demands of technology-led solutions globally. This simply means that there’s a huge scope of opportunity and growth. The advent of digital age, however, compels organizations in IT distribution to think beyond transaction. Now is the time to start focusing more on the overall journey of our partners. That’s why Ingram Micro has taken a fresh approach towards this. We have completely reinvented the way our partners buy products and solutions. The new system focuses more on interaction and transaction, allowing our partners to learn, partner, build, buy, and manage their overall business through one experiential platform – Xvantage.
Beyond selling a wide range of solutions and services to our customers, we now focus more on helping them build or optimize capabilities and ensure amazing experience to their end customers. We are leveraging all digital technologies to gather insights and help our partners with personalized recommendations about how they can build more effective and relevant solutions. In short, we are taking every necessary action that can help us create and drive value for our partners.