Ingram’s inaugural IMOne 2014 event, which combines five distinct Ingram Micro partner communities, including VentureTech Network (VTN), SMB Alliance, Healthcare, Public Sector Elite and System ArchiTECHs, wrapped up its second day today in New Orleans. More than 1,200 channel partners are in attendance and there are a lot of simultaneous breakout sessions throughout the day for partners to choose from, making it akin to
trying to get a drink of water from a fire hydrant.
Be sure to check out the myriad of tweets by searching “#IMOne2014.”
One of the sessions I found particularly engaging today was on the topic of MPS (managed print services), led by Ingram Sr. Channel Account Executive Troy Davis. The vast majority of attendees said they have yet to sell MPS and one attendee shared, “We didn’t want to get into MPS, but our customers keep asking about it.” Another channel partner who does sell MPS offered, “[The problem is that customers] initially focus only on how much they can save in monthly toner costs, but the light bulb goes on once they realize that the MPS program doesn’t just take the burden of toner replenishment off their shoulders — it also covers parts, repairs, and preventative maintenance on their printers and MFPs.”
Rice offered several helpful tips to would-be MPS providers and emphasized the importance of beginning with an assessment.
“A Good assessment will help you:
1. Uncover opportunities and highlight printing problems (talking to users is especially helpful here, revealing key into such as, “I hate this printer it breaks all the time!”),
2. Provide your customer with more options to win the deal
3. Improve the customer experience
4. Gain credibility through your proposal.”
Another highlight from today’s breakouts was: “The Great Debate: How Does BYOD Impact Your Customers?” This session was led by Ingram Marketing Communications Manager Gennifer Biggs, and featured panelists from VanGuard Technologies, InterGuard, Reflexion, and Crux.
A couple of key takeaways from this session included:
1. BYOD is a term we use in the channel, but your customers aren’t going to ask for “help with their BYOD initiatives.” A BYOD opportunity typically will sound more like, “I need my technology to work everywhere.”
2. There are many scenarios with serious legal ramifications that service providers and their customers need to think about when it comes to BYOD. For example, consider this scenario proposed by Biggs: Let’s say an employee is using a company issued cell phone while driving home from work, and this person gets in an accident while texting. Does the employee’s company incur any liability because they own the device? Definitely something to think about.
I’m really looking forward to tomorrow’s general session at the Smoothie King Arena, and there are a ton of great breakouts on the agenda, too. Check back tomorrow evening for a highlight of the day’s events; plus don’t forget to check out the live Twitter feed.