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IT distributor Ingram Micro Inc. announced an expansion of its relationship with virtualization software provider VMware relationship. The company is now authorized as a VMware Service Provider Program (VSPP) aggregator, which allows Ingram Micro to offer channel partners in the U.S. and Canada a VMware pay-as-you-go licensing model. Ingram Micro also announced a partnership with hosting and cloud computing specialist Rackspace Hosting, allowing Ingram Micro’s services division to offer Rackspace’s managed and cloud hosting solutions as part of its Seismic managed services portfolio.

Seismic Cloud Conduit is a services program aimed at enabling Ingram Micro’s channel partners to take advantage of opportunities offered by cloud computing. As part of the agreement, Rackspace will provide dedicated resources and training to simplify the sales and operations process. Rackspace will also be participating in a rollout across segments of Ingram Micro’s channel partner community that will include seminars, training events and joint work on order process management.

Bear Data Systems, an IT solutions and services provider that helps clients plan, build, optimize and support mission-critical IT infrastructure, is now signed up to resell the Rackspace portfolio. In addition, Rackspace Hosting has also joined Ingram Micro’s Cloud Conduit Advisory Council as a founding member. Other participants include Amazon Web Services, CA, Citrix Systems, McAfee, Microsoft and

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The partnership between Ingram Micro and VMware paves the way for a purchasing model that enables service providers to pay for as many VMware licenses necessary to provide virtualized IT services to their end-users. In support of the VSPP, Ingram Micro is providing service providers with a dedicated licensing desk, as well as targeted channel marketing and technical support teams. In addition, the distributor is providing access to its virtualization technical support help desk and market development specialist to assist with pre- and post-sales efforts.

Mark Henson, VMware national practice manager at ePlus Inc., an IT solutions provider based in Virginia, said VMware and virtualization play an important role within his company’s solution sets. "Having Ingram Micro as a master aggregator will help us simplify the sales process, as well as give us the support and resources we need to better service our customers, expand our expertise and grow our business – especially as it pertains to cloud computing," he said.