Ingram Micro SVP and country chief executive for Australia and New Zealand Tim Ament has said partners should "partner like they've never partnered before".
During an online virtual 'town hall' meeting with partners across A/NZ, Ament suggested that, in a hybrid world, partners now had to support on-prem solutions as well as cloud and security covering all of that.
The company's freshly-minted A/NZ lead said that Ingram Micro could support that and help partners build their own practices through, for example, its billing systems and its competency development programs as well as its financial solutions to help partner cashflow.
Ingram Micro has also offered initiatives to help partners engage peer to peer, build trusting relationships and share insights on their own businesses. The aim of such partnering, Ament said, was to "help partners not to say no".
Paul Bay, Ingram Micro EVP and president, global technology solutions, meanwhile, said that Ingram wanted to be a business partner, not just a distribution partner.
He said the company had invested in cloud platforms to help partners extend their reach and capability and to create a peer to peer connected ecosystem. Support was available at the country, regional and global level to help partners manage their challenges and complexity, he added. The true value of technology lay in what it does for the business, he said.
"It's about how technology fits into the outcome you are trying to deliver," Bay said. "Partnering will help us all to raise our game."
Diego Utge, EVP and vice president Asia-Pacific, also said Ingram was partnering with partners and vendors to assist with cash flow over the next few months.
While supply chains, especially out of China, were now stabilising, Utge said he believed there was demand not being satisfied.
"I see business coming back to normality very quickly," he said, something that was helped by the company's COVID-19 essential services classification in A/NZ, if not in some other jurisdictions.
"Pick up the phone and give us a call," Ingram Micro New Zealand managing director Jason Langley implored partners who may be experiencing Covid-19-related impacts. "We are here for you."
Langley, who also spoke at the virtual town hall, echoed sentiments from Ingram's regional and global leaders that the company was "absolutely here to help".
The biggest COVID-19 impact was, obviously, in the retail channel, which had effectively been closed, Langley said. For them and for other channel partners managing cashflow was the real issue and would be "for a while to come".
On the upside for retail, he said, the signs were that Kiwis were coming out of lockdown with a spending spree in mind."Reports on logistics statistics indicate it is busier than Christmas," he said.
Langley said there had been an immediate and he believed temporary shift to the use of work from home products but some other categories were also still growing.
"Project work hasn't come to a grinding halt," he said.
While retail was in a lull, some Ingram staff had been redeployed to support ongoing and new government projects. Overall, there was a lot of support for firewall and VPN technologies as well as storage, disaster recovery and backup.
Langley said sales of cloud subscription was largely unchanged. Many partners were looking for support putting together multi-vendor work from home technologies and Ingram was providing training around that.
Finance and leasing models, such as the buy and lease back of technologies, were also being explored to put cash back into the hands of customers. Langley asked partners to share their pain points and needs.
"Every business is different," he said. "Engage your account manager and communicate early."