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Client story

ingram micro supports growth with everything-as-a-service opportunities

Client: Ingram Micro
Region: North America
Industry: Services

SAP BRIM implementation makes recurring revenue easier

Client Challenge: Shifts in the industry meant its vendors and partners wanted to explore different ways to go-to-market with more Everything-as-a-Service (EaaS) opportunities.
Solution: Working with long-time partner Capgemini, Ingram Micro chose SAP BRIM to deliver recurring revenue and a new way of thinking.

  • Enhanced ability to track margin and balances, do daily spot checks, and generate detailed margin analysis
  • More timely billing
  • Empowered employees to resolve disputes faster and with more accurate information.
  • Better recognition of recurring revenue at the right moment

Ingram Micro helps businesses fully realize the promise of technology – helping maximize the value of the offerings they make, sell, or use. Its vast global infrastructure and focus on advanced and specialty solutions, cloud, mobility, and commercial/consumer technology solutions enables business partners to operate more efficiently and successfully in the markets they serve.

The company provides brands with the ability to reach nearly 90 percent of the world’s population. Present in close to 200 countries, its extensive sales and distribution network has approximately 27,000 associates, more than 161,000 customers, and 1,500 vendor partners worldwide.

Shifts in the industry meant its vendors and partners wanted to explore different ways to go-to-market with more Everything-as-a-Service (EaaS) opportunities. Ingram Micro wanted to become a one-stop shop, providing ongoing services rather than just traditional product sales. A recurring-revenue model would create more long-term partnerships and be less capital intensive for customers.

Moving to recurring-revenue opportunities

A shift to a recurring-revenue model requires changing the sales cycle and the behavior of partners, and that needs more control of billing reconciliation. Ingram Micro’s business partners hold the meters on the services consumption data so the company needed to be able to pass that data onto its resellers and end consumers with confidence. That requires a supply chain that extended beyond physical products and added billing and consumption data for EaaS offerings.

“We needed a solution that was flexible enough to be able to handle the changes as well as understand what the best way to support these recurring revenue models,” says Hiren Patel, Executive Director, Global Product Management, Ingram Micro. “That is the biggest challenge – to have a solution that can bend as these models get more mature. That way we are not disrupting the experience or asking for new builds consistently. It needed to be something standard that we can flex every time a new model comes out.”

Working with long-time partner Capgemini, Ingram Micro chose SAP BRIM to deliver recurring revenue and a new way of thinking. Prior to BRIM, Ingram Micro had issues reconciling vendor services invoices. There were many manual spreadsheets and questions around the accuracy of charges. With a specific revenue-recognition module within the BRIM platform, the company can recognize recurring revenue at the right moment.

“One of the reasons we chose SAP BRIM for management of our billing and revenue was the accounts payable side,” Patel says. “Being an IT distributor and the middleman between vendor and reseller, it had more functionality than subscription management tools. It was really a differentiator.”

Planning new revenue models

In the initial design stage, Capgemini and SAP helped ensure there was an established foundation to manage the different business units and that the process was scalable for the future. The second stage focused on implementation and ensuring the solution was rolled out in each country smoothly.

“The solution has a lot of controls in place to help us track our margins more closely,” Patel says. We are able to check balances, do daily spot checks, and see a detailed analysis of the margins.”

For customers, the new solution offers more timely and accurate services invoices, with fewer disputes. Issuing accurate invoices is essential for fostering positive customer relationships and trust.

Finding the next opportunities

The recurring revenue project is a piece of Ingram Micro’s digital-transformation program designed to drive growth. Having a foundation to manage compliance and costs has and continues to be a key element for the company. This baseline is designed to help launch new offerings, services, and other opportunities more efficiently .

Patel explains: “When you are doing financial reconciliations on manual spreadsheets and SharePoint sites, there are minimal controls in place and leakage can be a risk. It is very important to have a system in place for recurring revenue that has controls, checks, and balances so the business can move forward and grow.”

Automation has also added to more timely billing and quicker closing of the books. With the end-to-end processes automated, employees have the ability to resolve disputes faster because accurate information is more accessible.

Ingram Micro continues to work with Capgemini to roll out SAP BRIM globally with a mindset of setting a baseline and then iterating on top of it, rather than having expectations of perfection at launch. It is a new approach, with the company moving into more of an agile framework and consistently asking for feedback. The ideation phase is much quicker, so Ingram Micro can take a vendor idea and launch it to market much faster.

“Growth is how we are measuring success,” Patel says. “We are focused on growing our services business on BRIM first but then we are looking at our more traditional business to see how taking the costs out of providing an invoice can help.”