Ingram Micro introduces new peer groups for system builders to drive differentiated skillsets

 Ingram Micro introduces new peer groups for system builders to drive differentiated skillsets

At its Fall 2011 System ArchiTECHS invitational in Las Vegas, Ingram Micro has announced four new peer groups designed to facilitate system builder success in new markets. The four new partner-led peer groups are: business acumen; digital signage; high-performance computing; and managed services.The system builder market is one that many see as increasingly challenged. Holly Garcia, senior director, Components Business Unit, Ingram Micro U.S., and the event host, said that while system builders face challenges because of the trends in the market, many have experienced success by becoming more differentiated in their offerings.

“The builders traditionally focused on systems, but many have migrated into servers as well, and became more sophisticated, and from there some have gone into other specializations,” Garcia said. “These builders are still building blended systems. But many just aren’t leading with them any more. It’s a smaller part of what they are doing now.”

Garcia said that at last spring’s ArchiTECHS invitational, at Huntington Beach CA, they talked about how builders needed to find new revenue streams, and the attendees were asked to say on stage where they wanted help. This was followed up with a poll and survey, and the result was the four new peer groups just announced.

“We had some ArchiTECHS council members then who had experience in managed services and digital signage, and since then we augmented council with ones with other expertise in these areas, because we asked the council to take the lead in developing these,” Garcia said.

Some of these areas like managed services and digital signage are not typically associated with system builders, but Garcia said some system builders have successfully moved into them and built them into their brands.

“The connection with builders and managed services is really leading with a brand, taking an offering to a service element and leading with their brand in that way,” she said. She described how at the event today a traditional systems builder in New York had talked about how they basically fell into a services opportunity to better respond to customers, and now drive much of their revenue from services — but that it is still leading with their brand.

Garcia indicated the specific role the peer groups will play will vary with the group.

“In High Performance Computing, what they are mainly doing at this stage is educating . In digital signage, which is a bit more mature, they are offering tools on how to build a practice.”

Additional peer groups may be forthcoming, depending on demand, Garcia said.

“We want the community to tell us where we need to go,” she said.

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