Earlier this year the channel was set abuzz by the announcement from Ingram Micro that it was entering the cloud service provider space with three new Ingram Micro-branded and hosted cloud solutions: Ingram Micro Hosted Exchange, Ingram Micro Virtual Private Servers (VPS), and Ingram Micro Web Hosting.
I recently spoke with Renee Bergeron, Vice President of Managed Services & Cloud Computing at Ingram Micro to get a better understanding of what these new additions mean for Ingram Micro and its channel partners.
Why did Ingram decide to get
into the service provider space?
Renee Bergeron: Our resellers told us that they like having options, including Ingram-hosted options. The fact is that sometimes there are gaps in the marketplace and either no one is offering a solution for the channel or a specific segment of the channel is underserved. Our goal is to address those gaps.
Our most recent offerings were made possible since Ingram acquired Cloud Service Provider SoftCom in September 2013. SoftCom brought to Ingram best practices as a Cloud Services Provider and a unique eCommerce skill set. We also selected Parallels Automation, which provides a global cloud automation platform.
We’re now able to provide our channel partners with access to more than 200 cloud services from more than 70 vendor partners. And, they have a choice: they can select our vendor partners or they can select Ingram-hosted cloud services, whichever option best fits their needs.
Why should resellers add Ingram Micro-hosted solutions to their portfolio?
Renee Bergeron: With this portfolio of cloud services, partners have the horizontal solution they need to solve their customers’ business problems. I look at these categories and solutions as the cloud solution stack. All the horizontal solutions you need covering the different layers of the cloud solution stack. These solutions are essential for your customers, regardless of their business industry.
So, resellers can order, provision and manage all
the Ingram Micro-hosted solutions on the Ingram Micro Cloud Marketplace?
Renee Bergeron: Yes. It can be quite challenging to learn the portals of each cloud service provider, in addition to reviewing each provider’s T&Cs (terms and conditions), and integrating the solutions of each cloud service provider into a seamless business solution for your customers.
Our cloud marketplace is at the heart of our cloud strategy, enabling all of our cloud services to be accessed from one single portal with the interface to our vendor partners, enabling our partners to transact in real-time. No need to learn multiple portals. No need to conduct legal reviews on different contracts.
Now there may still be a need to integrate the cloud services with some customers’ IT systems, but more and more, through Ingram Micro Cloud, the cloud services from the solution stack will be pre-integrated. In the future, as we move to the value stack, end-to-end business bundles will become available and partners will be able to sell a single end-to-end cloud solution to their customers.
Does Ingram Micro plan to continue
to roll out more of their own hosted solutions?
Renee Bergeron: Our goal is not to become a service provider across every type of cloud service, but where we find gaps in the marketplace — if no one is offering a solution for the channel or a specific segment of the channel — we will continue to look for ways to fill those gaps with Ingram-branded services.