In an in-depth tête-à-tête, Samer Semaan, Value-Add Distribution Manager, UAE & Gulf, Dell EMC and Manoj Karunakaran, Business Unit Manager, Ingram Micro, discuss how to craft a business environment conducive for digital transformation within partner and customer organizations.
What are the factors that can help an organization become digitally transformed?
Samer Semaan: Organizations must become flexible and thoughtful in their approach to adapt and invent, because digital transformation is disrupting the way we source, sell, create and distribute. The first step is typically a review of IT infrastructure, and modernizing where needed, through flash-based and converged technologies, automating operations, creating virtual and software-defined servers, storage and networking, and delivering the right services at the speed the business requires. Since it is not all about ‘rip & replace’ at this stage, after a considered review of the foundation, organizations can assess adoption of the applications and services that will deliver a transformed experience for employees and customers.
Manoj Karunakaran: Digital transformation journey aims to use technology to fundamentally change the approach and outlook for a much better performance and productivity. All businesses and markets are vulnerable to disruption from newcomers or revolution from competitors for snatching the opportunity from your customers.
Samer Semaan: Organizations need to foster closer ties between IT and business innovation. They need to switch to greater use of sensors and instrumentation across the business and develop capabilities to derive insights from all data available to the business. And they need to choose the right technology provider.
Manoj Karunakaran: Our strategy is to help channel partners to the digital transformation journey and boost their employee productivity by providing tools such as eCommerce websites, digital marketing supports and the like; so as to produce demands, attain efficiency, thereby taking advantage of more business opportunities.
What challenges do customers need to first overcome?
Samer Semaan: According to the findings of our Digital Business Study, although organizations are inclined to shift the status quo, they face several barriers to digitally transform. 36% lack of senior support and sponsorship in defining the digital transformation vision and strategy while 32% lack of the right technologies to work at the speed of business as many organizations still have siloed infrastructures; and continue to grapple with rigid legacy architectures – all barriers to undertaking a successful digital transformation. Lack of in-house skills and expertise along with restricted budgets and resources also add to the challenges.
Manoj Karunakaran: To succeed with digital transformation requires a paradigm shift in skillsets, culture, people, open ideas, experiences and expertise. The companies that are most likely to succeed in digital transformation are those with open minds that are happy to take risks. Our job as a distributor is to educate, support and empower them to succeed together in this journey.
How is Dell EMC leading the path for customers’ digital transformation?
Samer Semaan: As part of Dell Technologies’ unique family of businesses, we provide the essential infrastructure for organizations to build their digital future, transform IT and protect their most important asset, information. We seek to become the most trusted advisor to our partners and customers by providing capabilities spanning strategy development, consultative services and solution deployment and support to accelerate the cycle of innovation, create competitive differentiation, reinvent their business and become digitized. In line with this commitment, we make a concerted effort to provide best-in-class products, solutions and services designed to help our partners and customers transform three key areas of business: IT, Workforce and Security.
How does Ingram Micro enable partners to thrive in the digital era?
Manoj Karunakaran: Key success factor is picking the right partners. We want to be sure that they’ll be able to fit into the culture, that they would be able to contribute to it, that they really care about being where we are and that they’re self-motivated to be the best at what they do. It is not just a transactional system. We want the vendor to have as much skin in the game as we do, and be as invested in our success as we are, it comes down to what you have developed, those are the key areas in how we enable digital transformation.
Growing digital businesses are focused on integrating digital technologies, such as social, mobile, analytics and cloud, in the service of transforming how their businesses work. The true benefits of Digital Transformation do not lie in the strength of individual technologies; rather, they are dependent on how these technologies are integrated to bring out the most in each technology and transform entire businesses.
Digital Transformation strategy is assessing and selecting possible solutions to meet the established objectives, provide the desired experience, and fill in the gaps of existing technologies. Channel should define what they want to achieve through digital transformation for their overall business and for their customers, especially in terms of customer engagement and experience.
By establishing the objective, they can adopt technologies with a clear focus on improving the overall business, instead of individual processes. This help in developing a comprehensive strategy that involves and transforms the entire organization by avoiding the siloed adoption of technologies. Digital Transformation prioritizes and values user experiences as much as it adds and introduces new functions and capabilities.
There are many important reasons why digital transformation should be the top priority for the business leaders because, it will make more profitable, it will make more efficient, customers will thank us for the drive, else competitors will do it and take your customer away.