Joanna Graham: Living and loving the IT life
"Right now, I can’t imagine not being in the IT industry."By Vera Alves, Auckland | Wednesday, 17 August 2011
Ingram Micro’s senior business manager for the Data Capture/Point of Sale (DC/POS) division, Joanna Graham, says 2D scanning has taken a while to pick up, but believes it is a superb marketing tool that more businesses will want to adopt.
According to Graham, the ability to send promotional vouchers or tickets to someone’s smartphone and then have them scanned in the store, is not only innovative but also cost-effective.
“We are seeing a lot more businesses looking at saving costs and getting innovative marketing campaigns done through 2D scanning,” says Graham. “Although it is still in early stages in New Zealand, we believe it won’t be long before it is everywhere.” Graham believes scanning codes through mobile devices is “a great opportunity for businesses to leverage targeted marketing”. Both Motorola and Datalogic have products on offer in this space.
And she knows a thing or two about marketing, having been in the industry for a number of years now.
The move into IT was a natural one for Graham. “I have always loved new technology and working with people. I have had a broad range of roles and came from a sales and marketing background and quickly realised that you need to understand the product/solution before you can really drive a message,” she says. “I chose to move into product management and looked after HP Printing and Microsoft Consumer for Ingram Micro.”
She also had her own business, for a brief period, working with IT resellers and distributors, before she was approached again by Ingram Micro to return to a management position. “I’ve learned a lot about people and change management during this time. In October last year I was approached regarding an opportunity to lead the Data Capture/Point of Sale [Vantex] business,” adds Graham.
She took on the challenge as she sees the division as a “big focus” within Ingram Micro and a good opportunity to expand her breadth of experience. “There are significant growth opportunities in this part of our business and I am looking forward to accelerating that growth.”
The IT industry is specialised, but after nearly five years with Ingram Micro Graham understands her market well. “Over time, you get used to knowing the product and knowing your vendors. It’s interesting because you have to keep learning,” she says.
The market move to mobility has been keeping her busy, although she also does a lot of work in the POS area. “POS is quite niche and the product life expectancy is a lot longer than traditional IT products,” she says. Working in that area allows Graham to stay in touch with many different people, including a lot of smaller resellers. “I love the people-side of the business. Everyone is so passionate about it,” she says.
Graham works closely with Motorola, Datalogic and Socket and, through her work with these vendors, she has seen what she considers strong growth in the mobile barcode business. Graham mentions a Motorola white paper that says that the total mobile coupon redemption value will reach US$6 billion in 2014, nearly double the $3.4 billion in 2010 (according to Juniper Research).
The opportunities, she says, are here for vendors and resellers. “We are always looking for new resellers. There are good margins to be made for businesses that understand and wish to grow this area of their business,” says Graham.
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