B2B Tech Talk with Ingram Micro
B2B Tech Talk with Ingram Micro

Episode · 5 months ago

Simplify Your Business and Drive Value for Your Customers with the BOT


Everyone wants to know how to spend less time pressing buttons and doing other kinds of repetitive work.

The Business Operations and Transformation team, or BOT, is here to help you take that work and make it simple.

Shelby Skrhak talks with Jonathan Silsby, director of Solution Design and Services at Ingram Micro, about:

- The functions within BOT

- Challenges that BOT helps clients overcome

- The unique value proposition of licensing services

For more information, reach out to your Ingram Micro sales representative.

To join the discussion, follow us on Twitter @IngramTechSol #B2BTechTalk

Listen to this episode and more like it by subscribing to B2B Tech Talk on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or Stitcher. Or tune in on our website.

...mm hmm. You're listening to B two B tech talk with Anger Micro the place to learn about new technology and technological advances before they become mainstream. This podcast is sponsored by the ingram Micro one event dream of possibility craft the future and think of the things nobody else has Our customers arrive as individuals but quickly become one. Let's get into it. Welcome to B two B tech talk with ingram Micro. I'm your host, Shelby skirt talk. My guest today is Jonathan Silsby director of solution design and services for ingram Micro. Jonathan. Welcome. Thank you. Great to be here. Yeah. Well, so today we are talking about ingram Micro's business operations and transformation for those who aren't familiar with bot or bot. Uh will you give us an overview? Absolutely. So you called it out already but internally we call ourselves bought but the business operations and transformations department really has a couple different functions. One of those solution design of services which is where I am. We also have a licensing department part of the services of the solution design and services is expressed warehousing and integration services. And then we have a few other internal departments that specifically would be like our business enablement and optimization group, our strategic initiatives group and a couple other small things. Yeah, so I mean it's a pretty comprehensive um, a lot of different pieces to uh to this. Yeah, for sure. It's a lot to there's quite a few folks in this department, you know, I think the department that no one has ever heard of. Right thought. And then in reality, you know in our we have 600 associates right? Like it's it's huge and it's because we have a lot of very specific experts in our group who do very specific things. So and let me ask...

...you for uh you know, for our listeners who might be familiar already with, you know, the various groups within ingram micro, there's also a business transformation center, the Btc, How does body in Btc differ? Well, so the business transformation center is actually a center in our Buffalo office and it is filled with all sorts of vendor products and what we really do. There is a really showcase those products in action. So we've got a classroom there that's set up like you could set up a classroom in a school. We have some storefront applications of you know what a store could look like. We have a hospital scenario set up in there. So literally our customers can come in and our customers can bring their customers in to see some of those products in action and some of those full solutions being utilized in real world settings. Yeah. So these uh you know, very different functions the BtC and the bot but uh you know, essential, really essential functions than to uh to support vendors and resellers. Right? For sure. Also the promise of bot is then to create solutions for clients challenges but what kind of challenges are we talking about here? Can you give us some examples of some of those innovations? Sure, sure. There's so many so we'll talk a little bit because we do have a couple different functional groups. Right? So I'll have to break it out a little bit. But What we're looking at from a solution design perspective, right. If I think of it this way I have in solution design about 235 associates who are expert solution design specialists. Right. So these are the folks that have industry level certifications across all of our vendors and their focus is really building out solutions for our customers from a technical standpoint. So as a for instance, a customer might call in and need a data center or they're going to be putting in a data...

...center somewhere and they'll work with people on my team who can actually build out what that solution looks like. Getting the specs, putting the product together, getting it all together on a proposal or quote and getting it back to the customer. So in that scenario, right. Think about it this way, if I am a reseller partner, I've got architects right. I've got are two sales architects that are out there meeting with my customers. Well, we can you can offload some of the actual building of the solutions to our team and those sales architects and go out and sell more and work with more customers. Right? So there's a huge advantage there not to mention most sales architects, They have an expertise right there, not jacks of all trades. And so if you run into a solution where you're like, you're not familiar with the specific security product that your customer needs. We have someone who is so we can really and truly help expand solutions and build out full solutions and expand a customer's knowledge set just by utilizing our resources. Right? Right. So from a licensing standpoint, right? Like think about all of the different Softwares that are out there, right? You have Microsoft and all of their products. You have VM ware and everything that they do very similar to STN s. Our licensing team is set up in a way that we have experts in those partner programs that those vendors have. We have experts in those products in the renewal process and the licensing aspects, Those people are experts. There's not a single person in the world who could be an expert on all of those things. It's just not possible. Right? So we have these experts here for our customers to utilize so that they can properly serve their customers. From a problem standpoint, I mean if you are a reseller who's selling any of the hundreds or thousands, let's be honest of Softwares that are out there, you've got renewals to manage. So we've got products like renew view that can really, really help in that, in that scenario we're sending out on behalf of...

...our partners Something in the range of 500,000 renewal quotes automatically using our renew view tool. So back in the day, right, we used to have partners who literally each salesperson would have a spreadsheet of all of the licensing information for all of their customers with all the dates that they needed to go find a renewal quote for it. And now they can really automate most of that and really save time. Well, so these being able to have basically an entire staff kind of at your disposal to, to be able to do all those things that you wouldn't ordinarily be able to hire foreign house and especially now with the uh, you know, with the labor challenges that we're having even more so. Right? Yeah, it's definitely been interesting because, you know, I think when I look at from a standpoint of our partners and the challenges that they're facing, right, technology is ever changing and a team of many is always going to be able to do more than a team of few. So we find that the folks that are utilizing the services that we provide across solution, design and licensing really are able to grow their business more effectively because essentially they're expanding their abilities by utilizing our vast abilities. So it's really an interesting dynamic as this technology changes everything is going hybrid and the cloud and all of these different factors that are leading in the industry, Right? And then how are customers dealing with those? Well, some of our customers are making a really great choice to work with ingram micro in our group to help with a lot of those things. Also specifically with your team, the solution design and services. You mentioned the sales architects and you know, the, what they can do basically if if they have a specialty and this or that because they're kind of split between the doing and the presenting the work versus the sales. And so I guess can you expand a little bit on that and exactly how how...

...your team does this and really what type of impact these solutions really can have on a client's business? Sure, sure. So I think it might be easier to talk about this a little bit and like an example scenario. Right? So if I'm, if I'm a reseller partner, I have my solution architect meeting with a customer, you know, talking about the problems with that customer has, right? Because customers don't come in and say, hey, I need this server and this switch and these cables, they say, here's my problem. Right. And so the solution architects are really solving customer problems but to do so they have to apply technology to those problems, we'll get back into the ability of any individual person to understand the multitude of technologies and options that are out there and every single person is limited. But as a large group of folks who have a wide expertise and I stay wide expertise because there's so many of them right? Like we have Cisco experts and they have HP experts and we have physical security experts and IOT experts and experts that can really help our partners expand out those solutions and solve their customer problems. And also they don't have to do the actual physical work of getting all those skews together and doing the research and putting all those things together. That's what my team does and then delivers it as one quote that has the solution on it. Well. So the another element of body that you mentioned is the licensing services and I think it's a great illustration of uh, you know, days of yore when you would have those spreadsheets and basically someone having to manually do this. Can you tell us a little bit more about that and why is this service such a unique value proposition for partners? Yeah, I'd be happy to. So a couple of key features about renew view, which is what I was talking about with the renewal's right. The platform is actionable. So it can proactively send quotes, right? It doesn't take zero...

...action once it's set up to actually send the quotes and it can even white label them and send them right to the customer on your behalf. So it really takes some of the work off not to mention getting the lead times proper, right? So it's not doing it on the day that it's due or because your customers calling and saying, hey my my uh software has expired right? We're saying, hey this is going to expire in three months. It might be time to get a quote in front of your customer. So the combination of those proactive quotes and the long range renewable views on any end user really helps our partners deliver to their customers. It seems like they're on top of it right? And not to mention it really. Everything that every one of those emails that gets sent out from our interview tool is a lead, write a lead for that partner. So it's actually a really good way to you know have that recurring revenue and and have leads that are constantly coming in for salespeople definitely when thinking about the big picture when you present what bot can do for partners or resellers I guess. How do you explain it? Like I I think of kind of the yeah the headline version, the big the elevator pitch I guess can you walk us through that and and I think that can help us understand from afar really what a what a value and a service this is. Yeah. So you know what I'm talking to partners right? I talk about simplification and automation. These are things that everyone is concerned about right now is how do we, how do we, how do we spend more of our time on valuable activities unless of our time on button pushing or any of the other pieces of work that it's got to be done somewhere. Right? And so the body is really trying to solve some of those common problems for partners Where like the renewal's or like building a bomb of bill of materials, right? For a complex solution that they're building for a customer that can take hours or even if it doesn't take hours, if you're doing a ton of them a day, it's like 60% of...

...your day is spent up actually just plugging in Scuse and so we could take that work and make it simple and simple. Almost always better. Let's be honest. Right? Simple saves time. And then you also have, you know, you know that you have an expert in each of those things working on what they need to work on. So if you have a complex solution that has multiple Softwares on and multiple hardware's on it, you know that those things are going to get looked at from each of the experts that needs to, to make sure they're correct and they're right and they're going to solve a customer problem that you're actually trying to. Right? Right? So it's clear there is a lot of value that boat can can give and it's also clear that you've got a good finger on, um, you know, the challenges that companies are facing the solutions that they need and uh, can help them with that. So you seem like a man in the know, so we always ask our guests this final same question and that's where do you see technology going in the next year? Yeah, that's that's a really great question and uh hopefully I'm right because you know this is a if I could be a fortune teller but you know the thing that we're seeing a lot in the industry across the industry, in all industries, right. Which is really where we lie is automation is huge, right? Whether it be DARPA robotic process automation or even launching some of these complex Microsoft tools to make people's jobs easier and more efficient. We talked about a little bit with the labor shortage, but it's really about the human smes and humans that work for you, making them able to do the most high value activities, right? And you're seeing it across all industries. Like I said, whether it be a warehouse, whether it be hospital setting, the labor shortage is real, but I think it's also making people...

...realize that we need to be more efficient. And so I think that is really where we see a lot of the opportunity coming in the next year and there's a lot of companies that are focused specifically in that area. Well, yeah, I mean it makes sense especially I think this these last two years have have given people a lot of thought about what they do. The process is kind of the wrote routines that they've been doing for most all of their lives and then all of a sudden there's this kind of forced pause and everybody's at home and you're starting to reevaluate some of those elements of your job that you know, maybe you really do hate and some things can't be avoided. But you know, if the bane of your existence is putting together a spreadsheet of, you know, analytics for basic stuff that doesn't need any analyzation. Uh yeah, that that can be imagine the the benefit that your your outlook has, your productivity, just your job satisfaction. If you're able to get rid of that that that activity and focus on the things that you enjoy and that you're good at and that, you know, you need to put that brain to work because that's, you know, that's why you're here. Yeah, for sure. I think, you know, to your point right, that the remote, the remote work, obviously it's also a huge topic in the industry right now. But a lot of people have moved to either fully remote or hybrid or or some form of some in between, right? But I think what it has done and that's why we see some of the latest labor shortages that people have truly made some decisions about what they want to do and where they want to go and how they want to live their lives differently. I think a lot of us have reflected on all of those aspects in the last year and a half, definitely well for our listeners who want to find out more about what we talked about today and and bought, How can they reach out? Well, there's there's a couple different ways you can go right...

...on our website and there is an ability, you know, as long as having a micro credentials to log in, you can see our sts phone menu, you can see our menu of licensing options. You know, I think one of the best ways though would probably be to work with your sales rapid ingram micro in right, they can help you navigate, probably look a little more clarity than a website can, but they can also set up time. You can talk to me, you can talk to people on my team, we can get licensing involved, we can, you can learn more about renew view at a deeper level if you're interested in it. I think there's a lot of opportunity. I love talking to customers really because it's for me it helps open a lot of doors from how we can help people because when I can describe examples of how other partners are using us. It's really helpful for partners to start getting that sort of that churning in their mind of how they could utilize our resources and services. So that's your high value activity. Right? Right. Well Jonathan, I really appreciate all of your time today. Thank you so much for joining me. Thanks for having me. I really, really appreciate your time as well. Thank you absolutely well and thank you listeners for tuning in and subscribing to B two B tech talk with ingram Micro. If you like this episode or have a question, please join the discussion on twitter with the hashtag B two B tech talk. Until next time I'm Shelby scare hawk. You've been listening to B two B tech talk with ingram Micro. This episode was sponsored by the ingram micro one event. B two B tech Talk is a joint production with Sweet fish Media and ingram Micro to not miss an episode. Subscribe today on your favorite podcast platform. Mhm. Mhm.

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