Ingram Micro Aims to Keep Boosting Its Cloud Clout
Ingram Micro has significantly enhanced its cloud program over the past few months with several major additions to its Cloud Marketplace portfolio and the expansion of its marketplace to 13 global locations, supporting more than 3,500 channel partners. Currently, the U.S. Cloud Marketplace includes 15 vendors and 60 cloud solutions.
"Ingram Micro is a master cloud service provider and what that means is that we aggregate a number of leading cloud solutions into a single marketplace to make it easy for our channel partners to browse the marketplace, gain information, and then purchase, provision, manage and invoice cloud solutions from multiple vendors," explained Jason Bystrak, executive director, North America, Ingram Micro Cloud.
"In addition, we wrap around professional services, such as post-sales support, to make it easy for partners to go to one place and be able to run their entire cloud business," he added.
In addition to the post-sales support for the channel partner, Ingram Micro also now offers end-user support in a white-label model if the channel partners require it. "That helps them scale, takes cost out of their business and extends capabilities. There are a lot of partners that don't want to be in the business of doing end-user support, and would rather be in the sales and marketing business earning more money," said Bystrak.
Ingram Micro's acquisition of SoftCom in 2013 was a key part of the support strategy. "They have technical engineers that helped us build the marketplace and they have post-sales support resources. We took their business and scaled it out to support the channel partners and to scale this [marketplace] on a global basis. There are over 200 technicians providing that post-sales support for our partners, and, in some cases, for end users if they want us to do it for them."
Another new feature in support of channel partners is the availability of the Cloud Store. This feature allows select channel partners to create and manage a B2C online cloud store with their own brand as an extension of their existing Website.
One of key product additions to Ingram Micro's Cloud Marketplace is the availability of IBM Cloud Infrastructure. Considered the backbone of the IBM Cloud portfolio, and a leading cloud infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) provider, Ingram Micro now offers IBM Cloud infrastructure via SoftLayer in the United States and has plans to expand to additional Cloud Marketplaces, including Australia, Belgium, Canada, France, Mexico, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.
"The addition of IBM Softlayer to the Cloud Marketplace is in lockstep with the strategy that we've been executing for a while now," said Bystrak.
The SoftLayer offering is a cloud delivery model that includes bare-metal servers, virtual servers, storage, security services and networking. These services can be deployed on demand with full remote access and control through a customer Web portal or API, which allows customers to create public, private or hybrid cloud environments.
In addition, the marketplace allows channel partners to configure and manage SoftLayer along with other cloud offerings through a single console. The SoftLayer services offered by Ingram Micro are the only fully automated pre-packaged service plans available in the market, according to the distributor.
Ingram Micro also announced global availability of the Microsoft Advisor to the Microsoft Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) service plan. Initially offered in Canada, Mexico and the United States, the service plan now extends to 13 countries including Australia, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, New Zealand, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom.