01732 759725 20 BUSINESS BRIEFING Gary Lomas Three perspectives from inside Ingram Micro Gary Lomas – Services Sales Director Ovi Gherghel – Director Cloud and Cyber Security Julian Thompson – Director of Advanced Solutions Everything as a Service Gary Lomas UK Ser vices Sales Director What was the most notable effect of the pandemic at Ingram Micro? GL: “Red tape was thrown out overnight by end customers! Before the pandemic, getting large transformational technology projects deployed could be a slow process. They needed proof of concept, financials to prove ROI, all that. Then we went into lockdown and we had a rush of businesses sending all their staff home with laptops in days. It certainly accelerated the move to cloud and opened up belief in XaaS.” “At the time, Ingram Micro didn’t have time to package things up into aaS offerings. People just needed kit. Now, as people return to the office, we’re seeing a downstream challenge. Businesses have a lot of kit that’s just sitting on the balance sheet. New aaS options could deal with that. It’s time to imagine those new services.” Do you believe that XaaS is going to continue growing? GL: “Absolutely! I can see endless possibilities for aaS. Not just technology as a service but much wider XaaS offerings. It could be software, finance and power supply all in one subscription. And that’s where a change of mindset is needed in order to see the full potential of XaaS. You need to think what end customers want and what can be rolled into an as a service package.” What does this mean for resellers? GL:“Capitalising on the demand for XaaS poses a challenge for the IT channel, without a shadow of a doubt. It’s going to shake up their business models, but we’re here to help them build services. And that’s great because we’re so well positioned for this. We’ve seen the new business model working.” “Layering will be the way resellers increase revenue through services – set The past two years have seen a seismic shift in how we do business. Not just in where and how we work, but in how businesses have leveraged technology to enable those changes. One notable trend to emerge during the pandemic has been the acceleration of Everything as a Service. It makes sense. In uncertain times, organisations want to keep money in the business. But will this shift to subscription-based business models continue now the dust is settling? Access over ownership At the heart of as-a-Service (aaS) is the idea of access over ownership. It started with SaaS. Then PaaS and IaaS come on stream. More recently, all sorts of new offerings are emerging, such as malware as a service, disaster recovery as a service and IOT as a service. This trend is now being felt by brands that sell physical products, with many looking to develop as-a-service offerings. One example of a company that’s successfully innovated in this area is Michelin tyres, who have used IoT and aaS to provide tyres via an as-a-service offering, based on distance travelled. The mainstreaming of IoT will undoubtedly spark more servitization of physical products. What’s our take on XaaS? At Ingram Micro, we’re in a unique position to observe what’s happening with XaaS. We’re at the centre of supporting the demand for it today and developing services that will shape its delivery in the future. So, what lies ahead for XaaS? Where are the opportunities? What does it mean for our business? And for our reseller partners? To find answers, we asked three members of Ingram Micro’s leadership team for their opinions on XaaS. out a basic framework agreement and layer on extra elements for an extra £5 a month per user, depending on what the business wants to achieve. Let me give you an example. We recently went into a retailer to talk about a wide area network to improve connectivity between stores and HQ. This led to discussing what else that network could help the retailer achieve. Now we’re doing a proof of concept for IoT cameras so they can gather customer data as people move around the store.” “This is why post-sales will become so much more important in future in the XaaS world. It’s where you’ll increase your value to the customer and their value to your bottom line.” What is key to the success of offering XaaS? GL: “Experience is a big part of XaaS, because XaaS is not necessarily cheaper. Instead, it offers other things – agility, flexibility, convenience and the predictability of a single subscription price each month. But when people buy a service, they expect it to be a quality experience. I think businesses will also look to XaaS to support in sustainability and their Net Zero strategy. We could see new models of capacity sharing. Imagine – you could grant access to a network or datacenter that’s not being used at certain times of day to share resources.” Gazing into the future, how will Ingram Micro change to support XaaS? GL: “I think Ingram Micro IM will be a lot different. Services will be a lot easier to consume and they’ll be bought at the point of the technology sale. At the moment, it’s mostly bespoke. This will change. I can see so much potential and I'm going to drive a different agenda for services.” To pick up on Gary’s point, shifting to XaaS demands a change of mindset as well as an evolution of traditional business models and product life cycles. But he’s in no doubt that there’s a huge opportunity for resellers to capitalise on the XaaS trend – limited only by their own vision and ambition. This is echoed by our next Ingram Micro executive who took us through his thoughts on XaaS and related factors.