From The Editor | April 22, 2010

VTN News: Business Intelligence

Webinar: Cloud 101

By Gennifer Biggs, security, storage, and managed services editor

So, remember I told you I would share more about the tools Ingram is building to support its recently unveiled Business Intelligence Center? Now's the time. Kirk Robinson, VP of channel marketing for Ingram Micro, revealed the entire initiative during the general session today at the VTN event. The new program revolves around the Business Intelligence Center unveiled a few weeks ago, but is specifically targeted toward VTN partners.

The BI portal holds seven years of order history for each VTN member, all culled from the data held by Ingram as their exclusive distribution partner. So, great. But what are the opportunity surrounding that data? How about this: The refresh opportunity alone comprises nearly $2 billion. Yes, I said BILLION. Here's the breakdown: $276 million in switches, $111 million in routers, $150 million in printers, $211 million in desktops, $ 229 million in portables, and $145 million in servers. To take advantage of all that data and the support services surrounding it will cost VTN partners $4,000 for the initial program fee, then $250 in quarterly maintenance fees. But the refresh info and the sales call you can launch from that data are just the tip of the iceberg.

"You will also be able to understand buying behaviors ," explains Robinson. "For example, who stopped buying from you last year, or the year before, all the way back to 2003. Now, you can." Other benefits to the VTN community include driving demand through targeting marketing campaigns supported by trend data found in your own order history. "You will benefit from accurately predicting when customers are ready to buy, optimize marketing campaigns through targeting, which will land you more MDF funding," he adds.

The next step, explains Robinson is a tool now in the works, an online lead-gen tool that will pull data in from your BI portal and show lead opportunities, as well as eventually pull in vendor partner leads as well. "You can take the BI info, integration with the lead-gen tool, analyze that information and then push it out to your sales team, and track those leads from start to end," explains Robinson. "We believe this will be a game-changing, killer app."

It's easy to be overwhelmed by the level of data mining Ingram is talking about here, but not only have they simplified it, listen to this partner testimonial from Mark Jacobson, a participant in the beta phase of this BI program. After identifying an opportunity with a former customer, Jacobson called on the customer, talked to them about the opportunities his company had discovered in data from his BI portal, and, in less than 60 days, brought in Cisco sale that delivered $79.,000 to the revenue side of his IT business. Does that make tackling some statistics worth it? I think so.

Listen to Kirk explain the benefits of this program now.