The market is changing and resellers must change with it says Ingram’s Obang-Oyway
Ingram Micro Cloud has warned its reseller partners they must stop viewing IT and mobile as two separate markets, or face the real prospect of “extinction”.
The grave warning came from IM Cloud general manager for Northern Europe Apay Obang-Oyway, who was speaking at Ingram Micro’s fourth Cloud University event at its head offices in Milton Keynes last month.
Obang-Oyway, who joined Ingram in 2006, told the 20 selected partners at the event, which also saw presentations from Microsoft, Intel and Ring- Central, that the cloud market is expected to be worth more than £3.6 billion in the UK this year, and it’s imperative they educate themselves now or risk forfeiting lucrative revenue opportunities to their competitors.
“There is a transformation happening,” said Obang-Oyway.
“Mobile and IT were separate entities a few years ago, but now they are one and the same. They [resellers] need to understand that there is a market that is moving, changing, and it is happening now. We have to adapt or face extinction.”
He continued: “Most boards are under pressure to innovate. This is across not just new devices but also across sales processes, across customer engagement, across everything. But how can they achieve this? The partners need to understand how they can help their customers do this.
“We hold these events to articulate to partners why they should consider that the blurred line is no longer there between mobile and IT, and if they still see a distinction today, it will not be there tomorrow. It isn’t just us seeing this change – partners are seeing it, but so is the end customer. They are demanding partners move down this route.”
Cloud was made one of the four key pillars of Ingram Micro’s business as part of a restructure last year, along with Mobility, Technology Solutions and Supply Chain.
According to Obang-Oyway, this change was driven not just by the maturing cloud market and an increase in the number of products on offer, but also by greater demand among endusers for more services based in the cloud.
He called on mobility resellers to educate themselves around the ever-evolving market, or risk missing out on an opportunity that is not just in the future, but is happening right now.
“I would say to mobility resellers to educate themselves, embrace the change, and adapt to it. They need to understand the opportunities around productivity, where the device is much more than just a device and can be far more productive to enable workforces better. What cloud services can boost this?
“They also need to embrace this change in the market, in what customers are looking for, and then adapt to that change. Adapt your salesforce, adapt your branding, adapt your go-to-market.
“Security is a key issue and the threat is real. It is something that requires vigilance. Like anything you own or buy, it is an asset so you need to work with a partner who understands that.”
This was the fourth Cloud University event in the last six weeks, with previous seminars held in London, Edinburgh, and Birmingham, with more than 80 resellers receiving “diplomas” for attending.
Obang-Oyway admits that the term ‘cloud’ can be confusing as so many different products can fall into the cloud category, something IMM is keen to clarify.
Ingram Micro Cloud is currently offering more than 200 products from 70 different vendors, including major products such as a Microsoft’s Office 365, which has more than 50 million subscriptions being used in businesses worldwide, according to figures released by the US software giant in April.
“If you ask ten people what is cloud by their definition, they will come up with ten different answers. So I’m a bit reluctant to use the term cloud sometimes because it causes some ambiguity.
“The one thing mobile dealers need to do is to understand the opportunity – £3.6 billion in the UK this year alone. It is going to happen and that is a huge opportunity.”