We Want to Hear from You!

2013 customer experience survey Alain letter

A note from our CEO, Alain Monié

Our Goal: Absolute Customer Focus

Dear Valued Customer:

Ingram Micro understands the importance of listening to you and putting your needs first. That’s why I have made absolute customer focus a top global objective for 2013.

Improving the Customer Experience

During the first few weeks of October, you will be receiving an email from your local Ingram Micro team inviting you to provide feedback about your experiences working with Ingram Micro over the past year. The input we receive from you is very important to me and the Ingram Micro team as it will help us understand what we’re doing right and what we can do better. And, because your input is so important, I want to assure you that your feedback will be carefully safeguarded and used solely to help us improve your experience as an Ingram Micro customer. Your voice counts, so please speak up and use our Annual Customer Experience Survey (ACES) 2013 as a way to help us better meet your business needs.

Measuring Satisfaction Using the Net Promoter System

Ingram Micro has embraced the Net Promoter System (NPS) as a tool to measure the level of satisfaction you experience with the services we provide. We understand that your willingness to recommend Ingram Micro to others reflects directly on how well we serve you. When we don’t score well, we will act immediately to put in place the right action plans to regain your full confidence and drive continuous improvement while sharing our progress with you along the way.

The NPS customer experience framework will empower Ingram Micro associates and managers to continuously improve the customer experience we offer. Achieving absolute customer focus is simply about creating truly loyal customers by listening to you and doing our very best to deliver a great customer experience every time you work with us.

Thank You

I want to thank you in advance for taking the time to complete ACES 2013. I also want to assure you that Ingram Micro will listen to what you, and all our customers, are saying, and we will take actions based on what you tell us that will improve your overall customer experience. You will be receiving the upcoming survey in a few weeks, but always feel free to email your feedback to me at any time.

Sincerely,

Alain Monié
President and CEO
Ingram Micro Inc.

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Meet the Ingram Micro East Coast Client Services Team

client-services East Coast
From Left: Michele Palma, Natalie Sutton, Michelle Zanelotti, Cindy Zenosky, Kristi LaVigne, Judy Ann Villanueva, Sheila Cadra, Kelly Conti, Kristen Gierszewski, Kim Taberski, Danielle Finkowski

Meet the East: Client Services
by Kim Reisweber

Client Services

This is the first in a series of blog posts titled “Meet the East.” We’re a pretty interesting bunch of characters and we want to share a bit about ourselves.

Let’s meet Client Services East!

Sheila Cadra: Sr. Account Supervisor – She is 1/2 Bohemian/Czechoslovakian, then Italian and others but the Bohemian part makes her sound really cool.

Kelly Conti: Associate Marketing Manager, eMarketing – She owns and is the designer for Red Lantern Creative, a wedding and event stationary business. Check out her website!

Danielle Finkowski: Marketing Manager I, Cisco – She was in the “Peanut Gallery” of the Buffalo Bob and Howdy Doody show.

Kristen Gierszewski: Associate Marketing Manager, Sales Programs – She has an extreme love of panda bears. If you’re wondering how to get on her good side, Google “panda cub” and send her a picture of one.

Kristi LaVigne: Marketing Manager II, VTN – She is a die hard Garth Brooks fan. She once travelled to Las Vegas to see one of his shows.

Michele Palma: Associate Marketing Manager, President’s Club – She climbed the highest peak in the Adirondacks which is Mount Marcy at an elevation of 5,344 Ft.

Natalie Sutton: Part Time Associate, Sales Programs – She grew up in a little tiny farming town complete with farm animals. Natalie also just got married on August 16th so you’ll soon see her new last name, Bolyard.

Kim Taberski: Marketing Manager I, Document Imaging – She has a black belt in karate and is training for her second. Approach with caution…

Judy Ann Villanueva: Marketing Manager I, IBM HW – She was born and raised in the Philippines and moved to sunny Florida when she was 10. Even with all that warm weather, she can still survive our Buffalo winters!

Michelle Zanelotti: Marketing Manager II, President’s Club – She played piano and violin for over 10 years. She hopes to learn to play guitar someday, it’s definitely on her bucket list.

Cindy Zenosky: Sr. Marketing Manager, President’s Club – She was the youngest “Avon Lady” in history to win Avon’s President’s Club designation (ironic, no?) at 16 years old.

There you have it! A few nuggets about the Client Services East team! Check back soon for another AIM East team…

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5 Things Your Vendors Should Know About Our Customers

Today’s post comes from Nancy Polanco, senior marketing manager here at Ingram Micro, who writes about what customers really need from marketing.

5 Things Your Vendors Should Know About Our Customers
by Nancy Polanco

Dog-listening

Give Customers What They’re Asking For

Product Development has been living in a suitcase these past 5 months, traveling the country, attending Ingram Micro and industry events and surveying our customers to find out what they really need from marketing.

Here are the top 5 customer needs you can share with your vendors:
1.Pre-sales e-learning trainings
2.Emails targeted by functional roles (Hey Inbounders, what is a Buyer Persona).
3.Vendor agnostic technology solution content
4.Better way to redeem MDF
5.Assistance with creating a Social Media identity

On to the next event!

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CompTIA 2013 is Here!

Fast track your way to success by attending CompTIA’s ChannelCon, formerly Breakaway, the premier training and partnering event for the IT channel. At ChannelCon 2013, industry training, peer-to-peer learning and partner networking all come together resulting in new partnerships and business growth. This is the big-tent event of the IT channel – a cross-section of solution providers, vendors, distributors and media.

This Year’s Program

Free Registration: CompTIA ChannelCon

If you haven’t already made plans to attend this year’s CompTIA ChannelCon, it’s not too late. Use the Ingram Micro Promo Code to register free for this much-anticipated channel education event, July 29-July 31 at the Peabody Hotel in Orlando.

Here’s where to find us while you’re there:

SMB Success
101 Join us on Monday, July 29, from 3:30–5:30 p.m. in Bayhill 32 for a two-hour breakout session exclusively for Ingram Micro partners. Get business advice from industry experts, fellow solution providers, and Ingram Micro’s own marketing and branding specialists. Plus, learn about some of the essential elements of a successful SMB business and find out how your SMB business can look and act bigger.

Distributor Power Panel: The Cloud Evolution
Jason Bystrak, director of sales for Ingram Micro’s cloud division, will take the stage as part of this informative panel from 11:45 a.m. – 1:15 p.m. on Tuesday, July 30.
Technology Fair

Visit us at Booth #417 during the Technology Fair on Monday, 6 to 8 p.m. and Tuesday, 4 to 7 p.m. OurCloud, SMB, Mobility, Managed Print Services, Marketing and Financial Services teams will be on hand to answer your questions and discuss how Ingram Micro is helping our partners build their businesses to new heights of growth and profitability.

Plus, you’ll have the chance to square off against your peers in a showdown of infrastructure skills … and win a portable pop-up speaker for your tablet, smartphone or laptop. Stop by on the half-hour to try your hand at building the best and tallest tower to win!

Remember, when you use your Ingram Micro promo code, CompTIA ChannelCon registration is free – an $899 value! Plus, you get access to a vendor-neutral channel event dedicated to education – in fact, you can earn certifications in cloud, mobility, disaster recovery and social business while at the event.

For more information visit http://www.comptia.org/channelcon.aspx

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Taking Charge of Your Own Happiness at Work

Robyn Tingley, Ingram Micro

Robyn Tingley, Ingram Micro

Today’s post comes from Robyn Tingley, Vice President, Human Resources, Americas for Ingram Micro, who talks about the importance of taking charge of your own happiness.

Everyone wants to feel engaged, content and fulfilled at work, but when spending about one-third of your day, five days a week at your job, it can be easy to get into a rut. Most people tend to look for help and motivation from others, but one of the best things you can do is challenge yourself and take charge of your own happiness. Below are a few tips to do just that:

Know what makes you happy: What kind of environment makes you happy? While a basic question, many people do not take the time to really ask themselves. Self awareness is significant when it comes to overall happiness. At Ingram Micro, we suggest associates take a personality assessment like Disc or Myers Briggs because it will give them valuable insight into what types of conditions, interactions and work make them thrive. Then, once they have this awareness, we can help them marry that knowledge with the right kind of job.

Set goals annually or semi-annually: Studies show that when an individual sets goals that are challenging, yet attainable, they have a better sense of control over their work, focus for the day and a sense of reward and accomplishment when they look back and see all they have achieved. Your goal could be as significant as a promotion or pay increase, or as small as reading a book, networking with new colleagues or taking time to go for a walk at lunch.

Goals need to be well rounded and include personal goals around whatever is important to you – health, education, hobbies, family time – whatever it may be. This will give a person a stronger sense of work-life balance. When planning your weekly calendar (which you should always do) employees should think about all of the hats they wear — worker, mother/father, daughter/son, little league coach, etc, – and build that into the schedule. Far too many employees short-change the very important roles they play in life and end up feeling resentful or stressed because they didn’t have time for something.

Use the tools an employer offers: Ingram Micro offers health coaches, financial planning and time management courses, tuition reimbursement and more, all easily accessible and at low or no added cost for employees. These tools are under-utilized by most employees. I urge people to take the time to learn about what their employer offers.

Take Your Vacation Time: There will always be a deadline looming, a meeting that is critical or a customer with a need. However, with good planning, those things will still be taken care of while you are able to take time off. Vacations recharge your energy and creativity – go someplace new, spend time with the people you care about, or escape with books by your favorite author. It’s important to do what you love on vacation and create special moments that you’ll feel good about for years to come.

While there are many things that contribute to happiness, the knowledge that you are doing all you can to secure your own personal happiness is guaranteed to go a long way.

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Video Conferencing in a New World

Today’s post comes from Jim Annes, VP and general manager at AVAD, an industry-leading provider of solutions to the residential and commercial custom installation markets and a division of Ingram Micro. Here, read more about how advancements in technology and more affordable price points are bringing effective video conferencing into small-to-medium business spaces and the home.

This story originally ran in Custom Retailer Magazine

When I ask our dealers if they are installing video conferencing systems as part of their residential or commercial solutions, I often get one of two reactions. In one scenario, either their knowledge of, or experience with, video conferencing has left them with the impression that the only workable options are expensive telepresence solutions. In the other scenario, they are dealing with customers who prefer a free solution like Google Chat or Apple’s FaceTime.

Many are surprised to discover that there are several video conferencing solutions in the marketplace—solutions that are far more robust and functional than free offerings, and more flexible than telepresence products.

They are also surprised to learn that these products can be purchased at very affordable price points. These solutions do not replace the ability to chat casually with grandma through your Samsung TV, nor do they unseat Cisco in the very high end of the market. These are solutions that are aimed at the user who wants quality at an affordable price.

So why should you care about this market? First and foremost, the size of the opportunity. Let’s strip out the Fortune 1,000 and other large corporations. Even with those companies removed, there are more than 27.9 million small-to-medium businesses in the U.S., according to the Small Business Administration.

Now that video conferencing solutions are coming down in price and becoming more flexible, the residential market presents an opportunity as well. Fifty-two percent of the aforementioned 27.9 million small businesses are home-based. In addition, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that 24 percent of all workers in U.S. companies currently telecommute, ranging anywhere from a few hours a week to full time. In today’s always-on, hyper-connected workspace, video conferencing is most likely the next productivity tool that will be widely adopted in both offices and homes.

Since many dealers want to have an idea of what it takes to be successful in the space before they commit time and resources to learning how to deploy a video conferencing solution, here are some high-level issues we typically address with dealers:

Keep Client Needs in Mind
When you spec a solution, one question that often arises is, “How do I keep myself from making a simple mistake that makes my profits disappear?” Here are some key areas to address:

• What problems are they trying to solve? Business, residential, both?
• How are they currently interacting with others?
• What problems arise in these interactions?
• How could they be enhanced?
• What bandwidth is available?
• How many other offices or people would typically be on one teleconference?
• Is there a need for mobility and flexibility? Many of these solutions integrate with phones, tablets and laptops, and these permissions can be granted to co-workers or business partners on a per user basis.
• What are the unique network characteristics, including the number and type of firewalls and routers? Who manages them?
• Have they identified the size of the room or the number of participants in the office environment?
• Who do they frequently communicate with inside and outside of the company?
• Is there a desire to offer conferencing to valued partners?

Core Technologies
Almost every solution involves the integration of cameras, speakers, microphones, video panels, codecs (also known as “end points”), bridging software or hardware, networking, security and control products.
Some solutions, such as Mondopad, have an “all-in-one” approach, where everything comes bundled with a 55-inch or 70-inch interactive touchpanel display. The key here is integration. High-performance systems require setup and configuration and many of the components are already familiar to installers.

Recurring Revenue
Recurring revenue is big revenue. Don’t miss out on the opportunity. There are maintenance contracts and renewals you can employ to help your customers stay current on patches and updates. There are also hosting and scheduling services that installers can resell to their clients that make it easy to manage their video conferencing solutions.

Partner Support
Don’t forget that your partners have your back. Distributors and vendors who are serious about video conferencing have a lot of resources you can leverage.

At AVAD, we offer experience centers that installers can use to demonstrate the solutions with their clients. We also offer access to our system design, as well as technical support teams for needs-analysis, site visits and client meetings. In addition to this, we offer specification assistance for product and solution design.
Manufacturers like Lifesize and Mondopad also offer trainings on how to give the best demo to a prospective client, as well as needs-analysis checklists and technical support. Occasionally, manufacturers can also provide live demos that are customized based on the needs of your customers.

In summary, the home and small business video conferencing market is large and growing, with plenty of resources that can be used to enable your success today and into the future. Are you ready to get started and be ahead of the pack that will soon follow? CR

Jim Annes is the VP and general manager at AVAD, an industry-leading provider of solutions to the residential and commercial custom installation markets. Learn more at http://www.avad.com, and connect with AVAD on Twitter @AVAD_LLC, or at facebook.com/AVADllc.

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The Maker Movement

This article is brought to you by the folks at Ingram Micro’s Business Intelligence Group

An overarching trend we have been observing over the past few years is people are sharing knowledge and innovation across borders at a more rapid rate due to the Internet. Fundamentally, if you want to look up how to fix your lawn mower or washing machine, chances are, someone has posted a video on Youtube.com. In addition, if you feel like taking a refresher course in algebra or chemistry since your child needs help, there is also the Khan Academy which led by Salman Khan. Within the knowledge sharing concept, a key trend that has been taking shape is the do-it-yourself (DIY) or maker movement which is being led by technologies such as the Arduino and Raspberry microcontroller’s (MCU), 3D printers and a private citizen’s willingness to share designs and innovations in public forums. For those that don’t know, a microcontroller is a small computer without the monitor, keyboard and other devices but has a processor, memory and programmable input and output. Often, these are used in non-PC devices such as automobiles, CE appliances and more that are programmed for myriad tasks. A 3D printer reads a 3D software design and prints it out in hard plastic.

In a nutshell, Arduino and Raspberry Pi boards allow people with very crude programming skills to create projects such as robots that can sense and avoid when a wall is coming, an Etch-a-Sketch clock, plants that notify you via e-mail when they need to be watered, etc. In essence, the microcontrollers are allowing people to fuse the digital world with the physical world. On the 3D printer side, an individual can essentially create something via 3D modeling or scanning software to capture and print an object into a physical one. To add more color, Microsoft and others are segueing more 3D capabilities into their gaming platforms and other software applications as consumers want to digitize and manipulate objects. In essence, we will see a thrust of more people scanning and printing their digital environments whether it’s a pencil, a piece of jewelry, a flower and more in the future.

Fundamentally, many believe this is creating a new renaissance in the technology world allowing artists, programmers and hobbyists to unify ideas and innovate. In addition, for countries such as the United States that want to accelerate the rate of innovation, many schools have incorporated STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) programs that allow students to get exposed to the aforementioned technologies which ultimately exposes them into more technical fields. For example, Century High School in Santa Ana California has one such program and has a 3D printer lab where students can create their own designs and print them out. In our opinion, we believe the maker movement trend is in the early stages and will create a halo-effect of new technologies in the future.

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