By Nimesh Davé, Executive Vice President, Global Cloud, Ingram Micro and President, CloudBlue
While nobody can tell you exactly what the future holds, keeping your eyes on the horizon makes all the difference. Delivering a keynote this past week for the first ever virtual Innovator’s Forum, I’ve reflected on the 10 years Ingram Micro Cloud and CloudBlue have spent ushering our customers towards a new cloud era, assuring them it was on its way fast. Intent on being the facilitator of infinite ecosystems, we’ve urgently advocated how digital infrastructures would unlock previously unimaginable chances to scale, how they were not only vastly more efficient but more resilient in the face of whatever disruption.
Even with that understanding, we were all still blindsided when – seemingly in the blink of an eye – circumstances made cloud the single fabric holding our organizations and even our lives together.
Satya Nadella announced the trend while most people’s heads were still spinning – ‘two years of digital transformation in two months.’ We’d been forecasting Digital 3.0 for some time, but that didn’t keep us from marveling at the way digitization reshaped every facet of our world. Living through it right alongside our customers, we’ve learned years of insights in the span of months, and now we’re here once again pointing the way forward.
Whether or not you were lucky enough to connect to the Innovator’s Forum, I’m proud to share what Digital 3.0 has taught us, plus the many ways CloudBlue is more ready than ever to help you turn obstacles to opportunities.
The Shared Experience of Digital 3.0
During Digital 1.0, Ingram Micro Cloud launched the industry’s leading cloud marketplace, and Digital 2.0 marked our emergence as an ecosystem connector. What then is in store for Digital 3.0? At CloudBlue, Digital 3.0 means a new forward-thinking worldview, a new approach to living and working, formed from our shared experience of a rapidly changing world.
For CloudBlue, as for our customers, Digital 3.0 has profoundly changed every aspect of how we live. To go to work, we’ve got 24,585 people using multiple collaboration tools in 71 countries and 263 cities. To go to learn, we’ve watched our children actively engage with lessons in a whole new way, discovering paths to education through virtual tools in virtual classrooms.
Through a whole new virtual reality, we are playing with our families and our friends: gaming, exercising, even dancing together online. We socialize online, sharing stories, feelings, and opinions through platforms offering new means of expression. Our ‘homes’ now open out far beyond four walls, as visits, parties, and holidays with those we love also take place on the web. And, of course, each one of us now shops, transacts, virtually, more than ever before.
Digital 3.0 has made us more resilient, connected us in new ways, showed us the value of the virtual world, and set in motion new possibilities for growth. For teams at CloudBlue, as much as for anyone else, 2020 has meant calling upon our innate capacity to adapt, and to progress. These months have made us stronger and sharpened our focus on what is most essential for accelerating your digital journey.
Digital 3.0, though, is not just the experience and the lessons learned, but the new path forward. Digital 3.0 is our plan-in-action to power what’s next.
Building Your Ecosystem Advantage
At Innovator’s Forum we’re exploring the emerging trends and showcasing CloudBlue’s singular tools for fast-tracking your digital journey. This starts with marketplace proliferation and ecosystem advantage.
For vendors and partners, Digital 3.0 and the digital journey is now very much about your ability to manage an effective ecosystem. CloudBlue anticipated tomorrow’s ecosystem-driven approach, and our Connect platform removes the complexity of managing your community. CloudBlue orchestrates the most complex aspects of ecosystem management for you. Simplifying connections between vendors and channel partners through a single integration point, Connect eliminates the vendor’s need for hundreds or thousands of integrations with different channel partners. For partners, the platform provides a single catalog ecosystem of vendors and products to add to their portfolio with 1 click.
As the world’s largest companies seek to build an ecosystem advantage, hugely successful partnerships with Telefonica, Keenondots, and Zones testify to CloudBlue’s Commerce and Connect platforms’ capacity to vastly expand your business’s footprint. At the forefront of ecosystem orchestration, we’re empowering our customers to automate and scale their business, unlocking a limitless customer base.
All In On Customer Experience
As we ourselves draw on this year’s experiences to better assist our customers in navigating a changing landscape, one particular lesson stands out for its importance to CloudBlue’s vision of Digital 3.0.
Throughout Innovator’s Forum you will hear us return again and again to the imperative of customer experience. Forming part of the trend ourselves, we understand that as cloud software investments skyrocket, demands from business consumers for better and better digital purchasing experiences are also increasing.
In fact, today’s B2B customer sees digital interactions as two to three times more important than traditional sales interactions. They are also twice as likely to make a B2B business their primary supplier if they offer a superb digital sales experience.
With Digital 3.0 upon us, building your brand now necessitates a commitment to offering digitized end-to-end processes that are remarkably intuitive, instant, and expedient. In other words, the most fantastic tech in the world won’t cut it if you don’t provide great customer experiences.
Alert to these shifting necessities, Cloudblue’s digital platform and host of solutions allow you to rapidly and efficiently deploy and manage your own marketplace. Its flexible API integrations help you to serve customers with speed, simplifying ordering and fulfillment, accelerating data reporting, and streamlining subscription management.
As we assist you to accelerate your digital maturity, we enable your business to provide end customers the sort of superb digital interactions that will become essential to scaling.
Looking Forward to Digital 3.0
On a digital journey, as with any journey, the road is not without its bumps. But at this special edition of Innovator’s Forum CloudBlue reminded its customers that obstacles also provide an unparalleled means to get much better at what you do.
The arrival of Digital 3.0 marks the moment to reprioritize your digital strategy, to move away from focusing on daily operational tasks and to double down on building a digital strategy for long-term resilience. At every step, it will also mean carefully monitoring continued shifts in buying behavior and keeping the customer front and center.
In the coming decade, CloudBlue will be there to help you turn obstacles to opportunities, to be better problem-solvers for your end customers, and to proactively offer creative solutions. We’re looking forward to Digital 3.0.