Ingram Micro VTN: What's The Future Hold
By Gennifer Biggs, security, storage, and managed services editor
On the last day of the Ingram Micro Spring VTN Invitational, held April 10-12 in Chicago, I sat down with John Fago, senior director of channel marketing for Ingram Micro, Huy Nguyen, director of channel programs at Ingram Micro, and Rita Baiana, senior manager of partner communities at Ingram Micro, to discuss what they hope VTN members will take away from this week's event. The message was clear: Ingram Micro expects much from this community, and they intend to return the members' loyalty and dedication tenfold.
"We're committed and we believe," says Baiana, adding that the engagement between the distributor, its vendors and its partners has led to VTN's current success. The collaboration that has happened between those groups has manifested in several very tangible ways for Ingram Micro, from social media to highly involved membership to changes in the way vendors interact with the community. For those who only get to peek through the windows at the VTN community, there is now an opportunity to learn more via its ungated VTN website, www.im-vtn.com.
For Fago, who has worked for years with the community, the current engagement levels are an achievement rooted in communication. "The vendors fully understand that we are listening and focused on their success, and the members are listening and understanding that we are helping them succeed by finding ways to get them into front of and interacting with those vendors," explains Fago. The next step? VTN hopes to deepen its penetration into the current membership, offering education to CEOs, presidents, engineers, sales and more, and taking its current active membership number from 350 to 3,500.
Building the VTN community been worth the investment for Ingram Micro. Not only does the distributor launch most of its initiatives through VTN (such as Seismic, Business Intelligence, and Cloud), it has seen tremendous growth in the business handled by VTN members. The community's 350 members account for nearly $1.2 billion in sales.