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

Episode · 2 weeks ago

Takeaways from the ICD and unpacking the Eco solution with Joe Treadwell

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

What are the merits of an on-site and cloud monitoring solution? How has Schneider Electric fared amidst supply chain shortages, and what does IT have to do with slower vehicle manufacturing? 

Devaughn Bittle and Patrick Cash speak with Joe Treadwell, national account manager at Schneider Electric, to get some answers. They discuss: 

- Top takeaways from a recent IDC event

- How the Eco Structure offering operates

- Schneider Electric’s supply status 

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.

You're listening to be two B tech talk with Ingram Micro, a place to learn about how to grow your business and stay ahead of the technological advances before they become mainstream. Welcome to our series, as the gears turn, posted by two of Ingram Micro's SMB alliance council members, Devin biddle and Patrick Cash. So, Patrick Devon, what's up buddy? Not much. How are you? I'm good. I'm excited. It's Friday afternoon, sure is. And Uh, you know, we were getting ready to launch another episode and you know, we had a conversation and I thought it was a great idea, like a happy hour podcast. Yes, as the gears turn, happy hour audition was it was an awesome idea. Did you get your shipment? I'm looking around and and I have no happy hour equipment. Is it's funny. I didn't get one either. So I'm thinking the supply chain is maybe, possibly, possibly. I mean, you know, strikes again every time, every time. Well, it's a good thing. So we're talking to Joe Tread well today from a PC and and I don't believe there's really any supply chain issues on their end. So you know, we're gonna launch right in here with Joe and welcome him to the podcast. Thanks for joining us, Joe. Hey, guys, how a right good be with you. Good, you too. So, Joe, we thought we thought we were going to get some beer for the happy hour. Well, to be honest, was that on me to send out there, because I apologize if that fell. If that fell on me. I mean we were subtly hinting to that posibly. Honest, I actually thought it was B Y O b because, you know, so you've got I'll look at the man. That's excellent. So we're the fools now cracking up. And so you know I do work from home, so I don't have to worry about driving. So that's awesome. So let's talk about some a PC stuff. You know, we...

...did an episode last year and uh, you know, the industry changes all the time and uh so what's new and different in the landscape for the last year or so with a PC? Well, I mean, what isn't right? I think it's really the you know, really the the question. First of all, we always love talking to this community, the SMB communities. You know, it's for us, it's not only the near and dear our heart from a business perspective, and I mean you guys make friends, partners, but it's it's also important not only from a personal er, er, you know, friendship or relationship perspective, but I also think for us it's it's really a bell weather for the health of our business. You know, we you know, if you live by projects, you die by projects. So really, you know, the things we see coming through the SMB channel it's important to the health and stability of our business and and the good news is it's things are all things are are pointing out, you know. So so we appreciate the t that, you know, the business that this community gives to us. But you know, I think, I think really to kind of talk about what's going on in the past year. I mean let's just talk about, you know, not only of trends but even more so, market conditions, like you know, let's let's talk about that for a second, because I think you know, you can have the best intentions, but market conditions that no one would ever anticipate are out there. I mean, let's talk about inflation, right, you've got the price of gas through the roof. Price of food is through the roof. You know, Bacon is up. I read. I read that an article the other day. Who Knew? I mean that that one alone really stings a staple in my house exactly. So you know, things like that and that really has an impact. We were actually a quick side story. We were in the unfortunate position to having to buy a car. Back in April. My office and kids were in a car acts and everybody was okay, but the car was total. So we had to we had to buy a car and I personally liked the sport of of car shopping and I was robbed of that fun because you basically walk into the car dealership and they say hey, you want to buy it or not? I mean there's no negotiating right that. The dealership we went to they normally have three and fifty cars. They had seven new vehicles to look at of all models. I mean seven totals. So it's you know, you look at things like that and it's it's you know,...

...supply chain issues. It really you know, it really makes a big difference. And then if you relate that to our business, you know, as consumers we feel that pain. But if we relate it to our business, you guys know I t purchasing decision makers. Their budgets aren't going up right, it's it's getting squeezed more and more. So then for an attached vendor like us, you know, generally e P C is not a lead vendor on a project. I mean we are if you're building a big data center, where you're building, you know it's racks, power cooling, we may be a lead vendor there, but generally we're an attached vendor. You know, we're attaching to the the server category, the networking category, storage, those are those are probably the three big ones. But you know, as as purchasing power gets diminish, you know we've got to make sure we're doing things to to drive relevancy and affordability within the channel to keep driving our business. So I think those market conditions, I mean, how are they impacting you guys? Right? I mean you got to see that each and every day with some of your end users, I'd imagine. Oh yeah, it's the same, same deal. You know, it's always a challenge. So, Joe, what what articles would you say you're seeing the greatest growth in for a PC, especially within the SMB community? Yeah, for us, we play a lot of articles. I think you know, kg twelve is a huge focus for us right now. You're seeing a ton of spend going into the KG twelve space where, you know, now you have uh, you know, take a look at Pre Covid, where folks were, you know, with the rate and things like that. Folks were spending a lot of money on modernizing the data center within the kg well space. Because now you have all these you know, every person that walks into the school has a tablet, a laptop, the phone and all these all these devices are trying to connect to that network. And then now, fast forward, during and even post covid. Now, with laptops and things like that, you've got the kids that are it's more of a one to one student too, device ratio. You know, the days of textbooks, physical textbooks, are are going away, while now now many more and more places, you're seeing, you know, that one to one ratio device to two students. So you're seeing a lot of money, you know, a lot of governments spend and updating the infrastructure and a twelve and and that's a big area where we're...

...where we're focusing a lot of our investment as well. So, Joe, you were recently, I believe, at an I D C event and there were some takeaways that we talked about in a pre call that you guys kind of picked up on and you're seeing. So let's talk about those for a few minutes. Yeah, sure. So that that was a pretty telling event. You know, there were. There were three major takeaways. Was Scale. How do we scale our business? We saw a lot of that moving to the cloud, right and then now we're seeing a lot of that investment coming back on Prem Um is depending on the vertical where folks need to uh, they're spending a lot of money on on site data center modernization because now they've got a lot of there. We're seeing a lot of that compute power happening closer to where the data is being consumed. So you know, different sectors, financial, medical, legal, you've seen a lot of those types of of end users requiring the data to be on site. So they're moving from a cloud model back to a hybrid model, and so we're seeing a lot of that, a lot of that investment going into the on site data centers. Another one as digitization or digital transformation, where you know those are some of the biggest buzzwords, but for us, you know that means. Digitization means if you install the ups out in the field somewhere, it's gotta be monitored, it's got to be managed. You can't just leave it out there because the days of downtime are are unforgiven anymore. That's the expectations that it's always gonna be up and running. But when you put a ups out there, you know it creates there's there's several challenges. One is that an I T uh. Is it an I t site? It might be a retailer, it might be in a closet somewhere, you might not have visibility to it or there might not be any I t person on site, right. So there's other challenges that come along with that. So you've gotta have a digital connection to that ups. And then the other the other thing is is trust, right, and that comes in the form of both cybersecurity and physical security, right. So physical security for us is secure racks so no one can access the compute gear. We also have cameras and things like that that alert folks. And then, of course you know our software offer,...

...which we're lesser known for, but it's becoming a bigger part of our business every day, where you know, I t an I t manager can manage and view all of their I t and power infrastructure through one pane of glass, through our software platform called ECO structure. So, you know, scale, digitization and trust really the three key things that that came out of that IDC event and and and they're all very relevant to a PC in the in the space. So you mentioned monitoring. Can You UH touch on how a PC can help SMB s with on site solutions as well as cloud solutions and from especially from a monitoring standpoint? Plus, I think, if I'm not wrong, a PC has a program to help with one site, you know service, as well as correct yeah, we we have a really powerful tool called ecostructure and that's our software platform that that really enables, you know, manage the concept of managed power is becoming more and more prevalent in the channel all the time. We're getting more more partners that are looking to do that for their end users and our software platform allows them to do that. They can utilize that tool and one of four ways where the partner monitors and manages it themselves. They monitor and we manage it, or we monitor and we manage it, or anyone, any combination of those right. So whatever solution, and sometimes the partner wants to do both. But we actually have a service where, if a PC will actually monitor that ups for for the partner. If there's any alarms that come about, will actually send a technician to go on site within twenty four hours to go fix the problem. The cool thing about that is if there's any additional you know, if we do have to roll the truck, there's no additional trip charge or parts charge. So let's say a battery needs to be swapped out, we'll send our technician. They go out, they take care of it because you know, for for an SMB partner, you may not have the technicians for the time just you don't want to send a guy out an hour to go replace the battery. That takes ten minutes and drive back. That's not efficient. So leverage us. So not only does that help you guys from a time standpoint and also it also really extend your end user network, right, because now you're wagging...

...our technicians to go out there and do that. So so from a cloud perspective, that's what that platform does. But you know, I think what you were asking about before something that's that's interesting that we rolled out with Ingram uh last year was this concept of ups as a service. So what what we did there was it's a soft bundle between the UPS, the Network Management Card and that monitor and dispatch service that I just mentioned before. But then what we did was we layered that through Ingram's leasing department. So then you can pay for it over time and if you're an MSP, you can actually just add that into your monthly, your monthly reoccurring revenue, right. And then now you're spreading that expense out over three or five years rather than a large upfront expense. And you know right now, we all know cash is king. So Um, that really helps spread out that over time, not Patrick Cash. That's you kill my hopes every single time somebody says that. Well, and so, you know, to kind of circle back to the beginning, you know, as we were talking about you mentioned the car shopping and availability. It's one of the many elephants. I feel like the room is much more packed than it was with with elephants, uh, than, you know, when we were having some of these conversations earlier in the year and last year. But you know, if I go to order an a pc right now you know what are my chances? How is, how's inventories? We we, we, we've been pretty solid through this, throughout this whole I don't know what you want to call it, this uh anomaly, if you will. You know we we made some aggressive decisions early on to get out in front of it procuring goods. So we've been very healthy on supply and we've benefited from that where, you know, folks came to us where they might not be able to get it from that from another provider. So generally we've been pretty good. Are you know, our in transits are healthy. Stock sitting at Ingram today is very healthy. You know, we we actually prioritize Ingram stock over our own DCS. You know, we we make sure that that Ingram's got the stock and then as back Phil comes, well we'll stop our own DC second secondly, so you know that's today. It's still hard to it's still hard to say. I think you know that...

...the whole microchip shortage still is. Is Out there. It's still lingering. A little known fact. We're on an internal call. A few months ago one of our supply guys through a pretty interesting factoid out there where your iphone has ten to fifteen microchips in it. You know how many microchips are in the average F Ford F one. So think about that. So think about how. Think about what's happening in the car industry right how the shortage of vehicles, a lot of it dreven by that microchip shortage. So then, when you have vehicles taking up so much of the microchip capacity, then spread that across every every different products sector that uses that. You know that technology and you can write that. That alone, that fact, that data point kind of really was an eye opener for me. You're like, holy smokes, that's what driving the car shortage. That's just driving shortages in the I t industry. So that really has a ripple effect. That's that's hard to come by. So you know, fortunately there's you're hearing about factories being fired up in the US. So hopefully we're getting get past that. But that's a long winded so for in short, we're in a good supply. We hope to be for the foreseeable future. But you know what, we have fingers crossed and you know, I don't know what's going to happen in three I think from what I've been told it's not gonna get worse, but it's still gonna, you know, the shortage is still going to drag out there before it gets better a little bit longer. Yeah, well, I mean I can start stripping my f one fifty for microchips and apparently okay. So, Joe, you know this is my favorite question. Everybody knows what it is, but since we're talking about three where do you see technology going in the next year? And it could be anything. Yeah, you know, for us, I think it's a continuation of what we're seeing now, you know, as as that quick migration to the cloud that you saw a lot of folks doing, and again you're seeing a lot of that come back on Prem I think we were going to continue to see that happening. From that aspect, we see that continuing kg twelve. We we don't see that slowing down as well. So from a vertical standpoint, we continue to put the pressure on that, on the cage, well, space and and that includes...

...higher it as well. You know, I think for us we really see software playing a bigger part of our business. Software and services really are growing, as I mentioned earlier that you know that concept of managed power. You know, we don't see that slowing down. So I think I think kgwall. From a vertical perspective, software and services are gonna keep growing, you know, being able to pay for things over time. We're very relevant in the S and B and M sp space. You know, now you've got MSP S, you've got mssps. I think we need to create a MSS PP, so managed service security power provider. I think we should all poin that. I think we need to get away from all the acronyms altogether. But yeah, it's it's getting a little crazy. I'm just trying to be relevant, Devon, that's all I know you are. It's already trying to figure out ups as a service. I'm like, is that like UPS hous right? Yeah, yeah, so on that, Joe. How would one get involved with the UPS as a service through Ingram? So, what's the first step? They reach out to their account manager, that their account yeah, well, so so they reach out. Yeah, that would be step one, to reach out to their account Rep. you know, we can get my contact information out there. You know, it's it's always a ups as a service that offer in particular. You know, that's that's really only as real as as the services. So I think as a service fundamentally is in its infancy. It's still growing Um. But yeah, absolutely, step one would be reach out to their account rep and then hop pull us into a call. We're happy to do a demonstration talking through how it works and there's there's a lot of advantages to it. So for sure. All right, Joe. So we've hit a ton in very short order. Ye, and, as you mentioned, everybody steals my questions and comments. I'm not sure what's going on here, but where can people find out more about you and more about a PC? Well, I guess. How do we get my contact information out there? Right? So we've got to. We've, I would say, reach out to their account Rep. we've got a team of UH of great folks at Ingram that are Um, you know they're they're part of our funded team where, you know, there are Ingram employees, but the day to a to a PC. So reach out to that team...

...and we've got no shortage of resources. You know, we always say the sales reps are probably tired of hearing me say it at Ingram, but we always say bring us into early, any any deal and every deal early and often you know Anthony mckills famous for his quote about Uh, you know, the only ideally can't finance is the one he didn't know about. We say the same thing. Look at you guys. You guys have a business to run. You don't need to be the experts in our product or our programs are pricing. pull us in. Let us figure that out well, and we'll help navigate that for your powers. Power is not as simple as just a dumb battery in a box. It's really not. It's it's a very complex, complex category that we don't ever want folks steering away from because they're not familiar with it right. It's it's an insurance policy. You guys know. UPTIME is an is an expectation, not a not a privilege anymore. So we we've got the resource to help SMB channel in particular, to win. So all right, very good. Thank you, Joe and UH. To our listeners, thanks for tuning in to another episode of B Two B tech talks, as the gears turn. Edition you've been listening to as the gears turn, a series brought to you by B two B tech talk with Ingram micro. This episode was sponsored by Ingram Micro's SMB alliance B two B tech talk is a joint production between sweet fish media and Ingram Micro.

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