Ingram Micro advanced its march toward becoming a platform company and delivering a frictionless, digital way for its associates, customers, and vendors to do business with the announcement of the general availability of the enhanced Xvantage, which incorporates products, cloud subscriptions, and AI insights in one customer-facing digital experience platform. Announced at the Ingram Micro Global Cloud and Innovation Summit 2023 at the ARIA Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, running May 15-17, Xvantage will start rolling out to customers immediately; once the rollout is complete worldwide, Ingram Micro will be sunsetting its Cloud Marketplace.
The goal, said Ingram Micro CEO Paul Bay (pictured) during the keynote, is “to give you that single pane-of-glass experience where you can transact cloud and all of your technology services and products that you buy from us today in one experience. We're committed to give you more ways to run your businesses better and grow your technology practice faster.”
Addressing the 2,200-plus attendees, Bay said Xvantage, which was first introduced last June and launched in the U.S., Canada, and Germany, and today is live in 14 countries, is the result of a transformation Ingram Micro is driving internally to change the way the channel transacts. “We can't be OK and satisfied with the legacy systems of how we're doing business today. We need to be able to deliver a business-to-consumer experience in a business-to-business environment.”
“The first order went live yesterday [Monday],” said Sanjib Sahoo, Ingram Micro executive vice president and chief digital officer information technology, who led the Xvantage effort. The platform will be released to all customers in the U.S., Canada, and Germany in waves over the next two to three months, and then worldwide throughout the rest of the year, he said. “Our goal is to be very fast.”
With this announcement, Xvantage now offers a Netflix or Amazon like experience, featuring:
- A new home page with easy-to-use widgets and personalization capabilities, enabling customers to view quotes, orders, renewals, subscriptions, business insights, recommendations, and a variety of marketing tools.
- A Unified Product Catalog with hardware, software, cloud, and subscriptions, all discoverable in a contextual search experience.
- A new and improved path to purchase, guiding customers from product discovery to cart to checkout.
- Zero touch ordering experience with instantaneous status and tracking, providing customers with real-time updates and detailed insights
- An automated subscription management experience, enabling customers to manage recurring subscriptions; customization options range from co-terming to partial upgrades to auto-renewals and more.
- AI-driven insights into market trends and end customer behaviors
- One touch quote to price to configure to order capabilities
“Nobody today can give hardware, software, [and] subscriptions in one platform, integrated with one experience, one shopping cart,” said Sahoo.
Xvantage is “going to streamline your business operations and provide more time for you to focus on your customer needs,” Bay said. “It's going to help reduce time to market, giving your customers what they need when they need it. And it's going to allow you to quickly adapt to market changes.”
The reduction of friction to do business is the key reason Ingram Micro partner Applied Tech is excited about the platform, said Daniel Petersen, president of the Madison, Wisc.-based MSP. “Our mission is to serve our customers. Spending time doing administrative kinds of activities, like trying to figure out the status of an order and track something down, and flipping between multiple systems to try to get an activity done is wasted effort. … I can just envision how the team we have working on all of this today is going to be able to refocus their time in a way that they're going to be engaging more directly with our customers and less with systems.”
During the opening session, Bay highlighted other investments Ingram Micro has made to move the industry from “transacting to interacting with one another,” including the $600 million investment Ingram has made in cloud, “a lot of that around our CloudBlue technology.”
In addition, he said, “We're standing up two purpose-built ALCS, advanced logistics centers, here in the U.S. specifically around how we're going to do business in the future, how it's going to be more efficient.”
Bay stressed that Ingram’s job is to make its partners’ jobs easier. “We've aligned our entire company around this initiative-- putting you, our customer, in the middle of everything we do.” Bay said every leader at Ingram Micro is focused on four business objectives this year: Growing Ingram’s solutions capabilities, expanding reach, continuing to drive operatioinal excellence and process improvement, and embracing a digital mindset and “the opportunities we have with Xvantage and our CloudBlue platform.”
He concluded, “We're going to be a different company when this is all said and done helping serve the industry in really new and different ways.”