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Ingram Micro has launched a new cloud computing program for solution providers, where VARs can go to learn about the technology, accelerate their own initiatives and find and partner with another cloud provider.
Ingram Micro Cloud will serve as the "epicenter" of the distributor's IT services strategy, a one-stop shop that includes a new cloud-focused Website, marketplace and the Ingram Micro Cloud Services Network, an organization based on the company's successful Ingram Micro Services Network where VARs can go to procure cloud-related solutions from other cloud providers.
"We're really excited about the launch of the Ingram Micro Cloud platform. Predominantly, we'll be focused on biz development and education," said Renee Bergeron, vice president, managed services and cloud computing, Ingram Micro North America.
Ingram Micro conducted a survey last summer that indicated 80 percent of VARs plan to include cloud services as part of their business plan going forward, Bergeron said.
"But they don't know how to go forward and incorporate it into their portfolio. This platform really addresses that. It helps them understand cloud services, what they need to change and transform their businesses and build a business plan successfully," Bergeron said.
"Less than 20 percent [of the survey's respondents] deliver cloud services today and very few of them, about 10 percent, claim to be experts. That illustrates a need for education and assistance to help them build revenue," Bergeron added.
Ingram's Cloud Marketplace initially includes solutions from vendors in Ingram Micro's Seismic program as well as others, including AlertLogic, Autotask, CA Technologies, GroupSpark, IBM, Intermedia, Level Platforms, McAfee, Microsoft, MX Logic, NetEnrich, Nimsoft, PrintAudit, Rackspace Hosting and Vaultlogix.
In addition, Ingram Micro Cloud has launched an affiliate program that includes solutions from Advanced eMedia, Awareness Technologies, GoGrid, Jive Communications, LeadMaster and Workspace Communications. VARs just getting started in cloud can tap into existing partners' expertise through the Cloud Network which includes terms and conditions designed to protect the VAR from having a customer poached, Bergeron said.
"The challenge with cloud services is twofold. First, where do you start? If you're an end user, the benefits resonate because it gives you agility, ability, ubiquity. But where to start? You need to do an assessment of the evolving enterprise architecture. We have selected a number of partners that specialize in cloud solutions and can help through that process so a reseller can best leverage a cloud solution," Bergeron said. "The second challenge is once a reseller sells a cloud service to an end user client, how to integrate that service within rest of the IT environment. That's where a reseller can reach out and work with cloud services experts."