Ingram Micro is unsure if, much less when, it will take its VentureTech Network reseller community beyond the familiar confines of North America, but it could happen much sooner than later.
On the heels of a spring Invitational in Fort Lauderdale that had representatives of Ingram Micro’s United Kingdom and Latin American organizations on hand to see what the community is all about, the distributor’s lead for VTN said there’s no firm timeline in place for an international expansion.
“We’re going to move the plan down the field, and it will happen when it feels right,” said John Fago, senior director of channel marketing at Ingram.
That may mean any international expansion is still some distance in the future. But then, perhaps not. Fago said he wouldn’t rule out having “a few trial members” from international locales attending the group’s fall invitational in Palm Springs.
As well as looking for what’s next as the reseller group marks its 15th anniversary, Fago said there are a number of compelling reasons to expand beyond North America in today’s market.
“It’s a ripe opportunity, because business has changed,” Fago said. “With cloud, you can engage anywhere. With technologies like TelePresence, you can meet with people from anywhere. We need to be prepared for that, and there are partners like [VTN members] in other geographies that could really use our help.”
But there are still a lot of issues to be figured out, such as whether members will be willing to do the longer flights associated with working with partners in the U.K. or Latin America. That’s an issue that can be worked around by making the new regions separate entities under the VTN umbrella, and perhaps bringing the broader international communities together once a year. A Pan-American VTN would also be accessible to all if gatherings were held in the southern U.S., Mexico or the Caribbean, central to North and South America.
More challenging are the cultural issues of replicating in other the kind of community VTN has become – particularly in Europe, where things rather rapidly become multi-lingual. VTN has some experience dealing with this, although integrating the Quebec-based Fleur de Lys chapter not been without its own challenges.
“We need to figure out the right partners, we need to figure out the logistical stuff to get it right,” Fago said. “We have to scope out these issues further, and make sure it will work well if we do it.”