Ingram Micro’s venerable VentureTech Network is no more. The solution provider group has rebranded, and will now be known as Trust X Alliance, a move members hope will help them better communicate the community’s value to their collective end user customers.
The change, foreshadowed as a possibility at last fall’s One Ingram Micro event in Las Vegas, was announced at this week’s spring One Ingram Micro in Orlando. Guy Baroan, president of New Jersey-based Baroan Technologies and a community council member, said the name change is almost three years in the making, having come from a realization that while VTN was a solid three-legged stool, it would be more solid still with a fourth leg underneath it.
“Everyone who’s in VTN is very supportive of it, and we’re getting a lot of work done. The partners, Ingram Micro, the vendors who are part of it, all get it. The one thing we were missing was how to get the message out to our clients, and share for our clients why it’s better to work with us than with others,” Baroan said.
What ensued was a survey to VTN members to establish both what the VTN community meant to the membership, and if the membership would mind a new name and a new direction for the community. “They said it was time,” said Nancy Stabile, senior channel development marketing manager at Ingram Micro Canada.
Once it was decided that it was time for the community to rebrand itself, the council worked with Ingram’s Agency Ingram Micro marketing group to pull together the ideas that had come out of the membership for what VTN wanted to be going forward. “It was very much a member-led process,” said Catherine Vankesteren, senior vice president at Markham, Ont.-based solution provider End to End Networks, and a council member. “We’ve got the closest ties to the end user market.”
Ultimately, the words “trust” and “alliance” were among the concepts that came out loudest and clearest from the membership. And the X – well, that can mean a number of things, said Daniel Cheng, president of Mississauga, Ont.-based AMA and a council member. “Experience, exclusive, expansive in scope and scale, extensive, exceptional,” he said of the middle letter. Cheng also points out that for the first time, the group’s name holds up in both official Canadian languages, a change likely lauded by the Quebec-based Fleur de Lys chapter of Trust X.
The new brand takes much more the form of a trustmark, something the council hopes will make it easier for solution providers to feature on their business cards, Web sites, and other collateral, and give customers a sense that being a member is something that should matter to them.
“We culminate everything around technology, but we wanted to make Trust X Alliance something relevant to end users, and in large part, that’s the leadership, the best practices, the business drivers and capabilities we get from the community,” Vankesteren said.
The new brand will be supported by a variety of new tools, the first of which will be a new Web site that is entirely end customer-facing and explains the value proposition of working with a Trust X Alliance member as their IT solution provider. “Right now, before this new brand, there wasn’t anything we could give our clients. So anything is better than what we had,” Baroan said.
And from there, the sky’s the limit.
“From a council perspective, we’re trying to push for a Super Bowl ad,” Baroan added with a laugh.