Last year, Ingram Micro, headquartered in Irvine, Calif., launched Xvantage, a platform that the technology and supply chain solutions provider is calling “the distributor’s digital twin.” Driven by self-learning AI, Xvantage promises to make doing business easier and more personalized for channel pros through a number of real-time features such as order tracking and status, returns and claims tracking, billing, and product recommendations. This fall, Ingram Micro is releasing the Xvantage mobile app, which enables users to take advantage of these capabilities from anywhere, at any time.
“We are becoming a platform company,” said Sanjib Sahoo, executive vice president and chief digital officer at Ingram Micro. “There’s a difference between platform-only, platform-first, and platform-also. Today, we are going through the phase of platform-also to platform-first. It’s a journey, but our vision is to become that platform company.”
Earlier this month, Ingram Micro Xvantage won a 2023 ChannelPro SMB All-Star Award in recognition of its impact on the SMB channel over the last year. During Ingram Micro ONE in Nashville at the beginning of October, ChannelPro sat down with Sahoo to discuss how channel pros can leverage AI.
“What I’m super-excited about is how [AI] pushes us to be more cognitive as humans, and [how it] prioritizes our time,” Sahoo said. In our personal lives, this allows us to spend more time doing the things that are truly important to us. In the MSP business, AI’s capabilities enable teams to focus on tasks that bring more value to organizations, rather than being overwhelmed by the mundane chores that machines are better equipped to handle. “It pushes us to change the DNA of both businesses and mankind to be incrementally better.”
But how can channel pros monetize self-learning AI on a practical level? Right now, Sahoo counsels channel pros to examine how they are currently serving their customers, and start identifying areas where AI can add value. “Talk to your customers and understand what problems they are trying to solve,” he said. Traditionally, MSPs may focus on things like fulfillment; he urges channel pros to take a more holistic approach. “Focus on the customer [and] how you can position them to address opportunity gaps and growth. Then look at what AI can do.”
Sahoo also encourages channel pros to lean on AI-focused vendors like Ingram Micro to educate themselves on the technology’s potential and determine how it may be applied to the issues they are attempting to resolve for their clientele. “This is a huge opportunity for MSPs to become true partners to their customers, [and] not just a fulfillment provider,” he said.
Press panel event at the Ingram Micro ONE 2023 Innovation Summit with Sanjib Sahoo (pictured left)