Ingram Micro Partners with Microsoft on Recession-Busting SAAS Program

By Pedro Pereira  |  Print this article Print


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Ingram Micro is extending Microsoft's hosted SAAS program to boost IT solution provider profits and control IT costs for SMBs.

Distributor Ingram Micro and software behemoth Microsoft believe they have found a way to help solution providers and their customers fight the recession blues—software as a service.

The companies have partnered to extend the vendor’s Service Provider License Agreement to Ingram Micro’s solution providers, specifically those selling into the SMB market.

Click here to read about Avnet Technology Solutions' addition of hosted Microsoft SharePoint to its portfolio of SAAS offerings.

Microsoft’s SPLA allows service providers and independent software developers to offer a range of Microsoft products, such as Office, SharePoint Server, SQL Server, Exchange and Windows Server, through a hosting arrangement. Customers pay for the service through a monthly fee and, unlike in other Microsoft licensing programs, customers do not have to acquire their own licensed products.

For budget-conscious SMBs feeling the pressure of the ongoing economic slump, the SAAS program, which Ingram Micro has dubbed Software + Services, gives them the option of adopting technology without the usual upfront purchase and installation costs.

For solution providers, who deliver the service through a dedicated or shared hosting arrangement, Software + Services opens up an ongoing profit stream, to which providers can tack on custom services for additional fees.

With the program, Ingram Micro also capitalizes on a trend that Jodi Honore, the distributor’s vice president of vendor management, says will continue to gain momentum as SMBs embrace the cost savings and flexibility inherent in hosted software services.

Solution providers, meanwhile, need not incur infrastructure costs to offer the service or borrow against their working capital, Honore says. SPLA terms also call for the solution providers to pay for only the software they authorized their customers to use the previous month.

"With Microsoft's SPLA licensing program, we've simplified the sale and are truly enabling our channel partners to grow their Microsoft business and increase their profit potential," Honore says in a statement.

Ben Malek, senior director of hosting for Microsoft Americas, says the SAAS partnership with Ingram Micro is designed to not only increase the profitability of channel partners but also to give them a competitive edge in selling services.

"Together with Ingram Micro we are making it that much easier for channel partners to successfully sell hosted Microsoft solutions that are targeted to both the technical and business needs of SMBs," he says.

The Microsoft SPLA program is available immediately to all Ingram Micro’s Microsoft-certified partners in the United States and Canada. The program already has been running in Canada, but it is making its U.S. debut this week.


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