Guest Column | November 13, 2012

It's All About Mobile In 2013

By Justin Scopaz, executive director and general manager, Ingram Micro Data Capture/POS and Physical Security Business Units

The move to mobile is more than just using smart phones and tablets to work from home or by an app. Mobile technologies are creating a new way of doing business that is not only changing our culture, but raising the bar when it comes to customer service and technology innovation.

In retail, for example, mobile solutions are on fire. In 2013, many consumers will say goodbye to waiting in line when shopping at stores such as Nordstrom and the Apple store, for example. By using a handheld POS device, smartphone or tablet, sales associates are able to complete a sales transaction anywhere on the floor and without the use of a traditional cash register. With a swipe of a credit card and a few taps on the screen, the deal is complete and the receipt is not only printed, but also emailed to the buyer. It is a ridiculously simple solution, with remarkable results and a recurring revenue stream for solution providers specializing in managed IT services.

In the healthcare vertical, the sales and service opportunities around mobile solutions continue to grow for resellers and managed service providers (MSPs). Industry regulations are building and patients’ demands for greater records transparency and office efficiency is skyrocketing – forcing doctors, dentists, and even hospitals to respond with a new outfit of mobile technologies and infrastructure that will drive greater efficiency and meet these demands.

Another string of opportunity being fueled by mobile solutions is the increasing need for data storage, bandwidth, and managed IT security. As more and more people and businesses go mobile, the demands around storage capacity, network infrastructure, and security will rise. What happens if a mobile device or company-issued or supported smartphone or tablet is lost? Can the machine be swiped remotely? What about the data? Is it backed up? And can it be recovered and restored?

Simultaneously, with the advent of social media and increasing use of cloud applications, video, and photography, questions around network bandwidth and big data are sure to arise. Again, these concerns all lead to solutions that channel partners can architect, deploy, and ultimately support remotely.

Capitalizing On The Move To Mobile
Although mobile represents a big opportunity for channel partners, many aren’t sure where to start. My advice: look to distribution and align closely with the vendors that make the most sense for your business and your customers.

As the world’s largest technology distributor, Ingram Micro is well-positioned to help channel partners navigate this new mobile marketplace and seize the opportunity. Our recent acquisition of mobile distributor BrightPoint, combined with our well-established, fast-growth Data Capture/POS Business Unit and new Ingram Micro Mobile team coming together, further cements our value proposition to channel partners and vendors.

In these times of transition, innovation, and opportunity, the worst move any channel partner can make is no move at all. Sitting on the sidelines and watching the game unfold isn’t an option. The mobile movement is accelerating at a rapid pace and bringing with it greater service opportunities for channel partners willing to figure it out as they go and invest in the expertise to make mobile solutions part of their portfolio.