Computer Gross Italia: Technology is potential. People and skills are what really matter.

IBM recently published a case study about Italian Business Partner Computer Gross and the unique shopping experience they now offer visitors to their B2B Cash & Carry stores.

With thousands of products available to shoppers, Computer Gross wanted to improve the experience of visiting one of their stores and selecting the right product. By introducing Pepper, a social robot powered by cloud-based cognitive technologies from IBM, the Business Partner was able not only to build customer relationships, but also to boost sales and cut inventory costs.

But this is just the latest incarnation of a relationship that goes back almost a quarter of a century. IBM has enjoyed a long and successful partnership with Computer Gross, going all the way back to 1994 when it established itself as the first IBM distributor in Italy, offering a wide range of products to help clients drive innovation.

I asked Gianluca Guasti, Computer Gross’ Value Business and Marketing Director, what working with IBM means to their business.

“Our partnership is based on common strategy and values, which are perfectly in sync with technology’s and market’s evolution. Crucially, it’s not just about the move to high-value offerings; it’s about the importance that both companies give to the skills of their teams and their partner network.”

It’s this, says Gianluca, that has allowed Computer Gross to position itself as what it calls an Intelligence Hub; helping the channel to unlock the potential of cloud, AI and the Internet of Things.

Reflecting the IT market of the time, Computer Gross’ portfolio of IBM solutions started out with PCs and notebooks but quickly expanded into servers, storage and software. More recently, the company has offered consulting services in order to enable businesses to transform to meet the challenge of the digital economy. When we talk about transforming business for the digital economy, Computer Gross is a prime example not just of an enterprise that has transformed itself but one that is helping others to maximise their IT potential.

And according to Gianluca, that potential can only be unlocked with the right people and skills. As with all true partnerships, relationships are the key.

“IBM has always been a leader for innovation and digital transformation,” Gianluca continues. “But it is the sharing of important values that have proven over time to be the real strengths: the value of innovation and the great sense of belonging to a team that, together, made the difference.”

IBM continues to invest heavily in making our partnership model more profitable for partners and in making IBM easier to do business with. In recent years, according to Computer Gross, those investments have had a significant impact.

“Success in strategic areas like cognitive computing—such as the one we recently launched with Pepper—is about teaming and making the right skills available. Not just across Computer Gross’ and IBM’s various business units but more importantly, across the entire partner ecosystem.”

Find out more about Pepper and how Computer Gross’ customers are enjoying a smarter retail experience in this IBM case study.

Francesco Casa
Director, Global Business Partners, IBM Italy