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3 Prerequisites for Selling Real Collaboration

June 08, 2017

Typing the word “collaboration” into Google generates 269 million results. This popular term permeates every market and is especially bandied about in business circles, where working more closely with coworkers, customers, and partners is tightly connected with better customer service and higher profit margins.

Cisco and Ingram Micro regularly solicit feedback from channel partners to stay on top of the latest trends, opportunities, and challenges. When it comes to collaboration, partners overwhelmingly point out these three needs:

Simplicity. If users spend the first 5 to 10 minutes of a conference call or web chat connecting and configuring their devices, or trying to identify the right drivers, collaboration is compromised. 

User Experience. In addition to enabling people to work together more easily and effectively, collaboration solutions need to enable various software applications — and devices — to do the same. For example, during a live web chat session, if a user has to minimize one program and launch a separate program to message the host or another attendee, the whole process becomes cumbersome.

Ubiquity. According to research from GlobalWorkplaceAnalytics.com, the number of employees who telecommute multiple days per week increased nearly 80% between 2005 and 2012. This shift in work becoming an “activity” rather than a “place” requires a dramatic change in how workers to now include joining conferences via personal laptops, tablets, and even smartphones.

With the recent announcement of Collaboration System Release 11.0 Cisco showed partners it was listening to their feedback. Beginning with simplicity, a new configure-to-order (CTO) process makes ordering and deploying the Business Edition 6000, Cisco’s all-in-one packaged collaboration solution easier. Additionally, new hardware platforms (MM410v and MM820) simplify system administrators’ ability to configure Cisco TelePresence Servers to meet customers’ video conferencing requirements. WebEx Conferencing also enjoys enhanced notifications and controls that make attending meetings simpler.

New features such as multi-streaming, which allows certain Cisco endpoints to generate and/or receive concurrent video streams of varying resolutions and frame rates is sure to improve the user experience. Additionally, in the latest version of Cisco Jabber, users can move multiparty IM conversations into a videoconference hosted on TelePresence Server, WebEx, or Cisco Collaboration Meeting Room (CMR) with the click of a mouse.

And, with regard to ubiquity, Cisco made several improvements to its Collaboration Edge portfolio, including expanding mobile and remote access support for 7800, 8800, and DX Series endpoints and third-party devices, allowing users to connect to UC Manager outside the firewall via secure VPN-less access.

Ingram Micro is also making it easier for Cisco partners to sell and support Cisco Collaboration products and solutions. Ingram Micro has a dedicated Cisco business unit with more than 125 sales, market development and technical support associates, that are actively involved in $2.5 billion in yearly Cisco revenue sold through Ingram Micro. Additionally, Ingram Micro pays for Cisco partners’ freight fees, offers flexible financing opportunities, all-expense-paid educational and product boot camps, dedicated pre-sales and field technical support, additional CTO capabilities, and more. Partners can even get hands on experience with the latest Cisco solutions via the Cisco Experience Center and Solution Center. 

To learn more contact a dedicated Ingram Micro Cisco team member today:

Mike Brooks, Collaboration Channel Account Specialist: mike.brooks.buffalo@ingrammicro.com

Stacy George, Collaboration Channel Account Specialist, stacy.george@ingrammicro.com