Ingram Micro is launching Xvantage, the distributor’s digital twin, for the IT vendor community in the U.S., Canada, and Germany. Rolled out late last year for channel partners in those same countries, Xvantage is a a self-serve platform designed to give MSPs, VARs, vendors, and Ingram Micro associates a “consumerized” experience, with centralized online access to everything they need to do business with the distributor. Today’s launch marks the distributor’s first digital platform for vendors, says Ingram Micro EVP and Chief Digital Officer Sanjib Sahoo (pictured).
According to Sahoo, Xvantage will provide IT vendors with a full dashboard of real-time visibility into their Ingram Micro business; personalized interaction for their account teams with dedicated resources and experts, including Ingram Micro’s certified engineers, demand planning, and marketing teams; and data insights, including performance and velocity for real-time business planning.
In addition, a new Document Hub enables vendors to upload their catalogs; through machine learning the data is automatically formatted, categorized, and translated into an industry standard SKU format that customers can immediately search, quote, and order from. “So that's a seamless connectivity that we have built through this platform ecosystem,” Sahoo says, enabling Ingram Micro to “bring in those SKUs and solutions faster to our MSPs and channel partners.”
The Document Hub is also where vendors can manage “all important documentation,” Sahoo adds, such as contract program guidelines, business plans, and marketing campaign collateral.
Further, Xvantage enables vendors to “gain valuable insight to their order performance,” he notes, allowing for more targeted marketing campaigns and promotions. “The number one complaint we have from some of the vendors is that they need more real-time data … “How is it [the campaign] working? What has been fulfilled? What has been sold? What is the pipeline?” Xvantage will provide those metrics, he says.
Ingram Micro is currently piloting Xvantage with a small number of vendors, and Sahoo says the plan is to start onboarding one vendor a week some time soon. “We have a very aggressive plan to roll this out.” Ingram Micro will expand the digital experience platform to vendors and customers in all geographies by the end of this year.
When onboarding is complete, a vendor and channel partners will be able to seamlessly interact. Sahoo likens it to the Netflix experience. “Every time I log in, my view is different. So, for say external channel partners, [the view is] not only based on who I am as a partner, but my profile. Am I an account manager or am I procurement or purchasing or finance? I can go and decide the widgets I want to see; I can customize my entire dashboard. And every time the platform is learning from what you are doing and immediately pushing recommendations [and] insights to you and customizing it based on your experience. That is the power of self-learning.”
The distributor plans to announce additional capabilities for Xvantage at the Global Cloud & Innovation Summit (GCIS) May 15-17 in Las Vegas. Sahoo says to expect features that remove friction from the purchasing process and deliver more customized insights and recommendations for partners.