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AWS Deepens Ingram Micro Relationship For Global Channel Expansion

‘There has never been a bigger opportunity to jump into Infrastructure as a Service. A relatively small part of the channel is building this business now. But the opportunity is accelerating. This agreement signals Ingram Micro’s commitment to do more in this area and to better serve new and existing partners looking to do more with the AWS platform,” says Tim FitzGerald, Ingram Micro’s vice president of global IaaS cloud channels..

Ingram Micro on Tuesday said it has expanded its global relationship with Amazon Web Services, a move solution providers said will not only make it easier to work with international clients, but will give increased credibility to solution providers working with the cloud giant.

Under the arrangement, Ingram Micro Cloud, which is an AWS Advanced Consulting Partner, will help AWS expand its channel reach into 12 new countries in the EMEA (Europe, Middle East, and Africa), LATAM (Latin America) and ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) markets, said Tim FitzGerald, vice president of global IaaS cloud channels for the Irvine, Calif.-based distributor.

The new relationship is a multi-year investment by Ingram Micro Cloud and AWS focusing on global expansion, FitzGerald told CRN.

[Related: 5 Things To Know About Ingram Micro’s Acquisition By Platinum Equity]

The expansion comes even as Ingram Micro doubles down on its already strong relationship with AWS in North America, he said.

“For any partners not working with AWS, this is a big opportunity they should be paying attention to,” he said. “There has never been a bigger opportunity to jump into infrastructure-as-a-service. A relatively small part of the channel is building this business now. But the opportunity is accelerating. This agreement signals Ingram Micro’s commitment to do more in this area and to better serve new and existing partners looking to do more with the AWS platform.”

Every functional area of the IaaS busines will see a significant increase in resources from Ingram Micro, including sales, marketing and operations, FitzGerald said.

“This is a multi-year joint investment between Ingram Micro and AWS,” he said. “This agreement gives a sense of the size and scale of the investment needed to win in the cloud.”

The COVID-19 pandemic has blurred the boundaries between countries, leading to an increased need for solution providers to work with clients around the world, said Dao Jensen, CEO of Kaizen Technology Partners, a San Francisco-based solution provider that is among the top three Ingram Micro AWS channel partners.

Jensen told CRN that as a result of her attending the Harvard Business School Owner/President Management program, she is meeting CEOs from more than 40 countries worldwide and sees an opportunity to expand her company’s business overseas.

“We want to bring AWS to international customers,” she said. “We’re not small, but we’re not large. We’re looking at how to grow faster with fewer boundaries around the world.”

Kaizen Technology Partners already has business with the U.S. office of a Norway-based client, and is looking to expand to areas like Mexico, which is on the initial list of countries covered by the new Ingram Micro alliance with AWS, as well as India, which is not yet included, Jensen said.

More importantly, Jensen said the new agreement shows Ingram Micro’s importance to both the channel and to AWS.

“Amazon is about 90-percent direct,” she said. “A channel focus is a hard concept for Amazon to wrap around. The Ingram Micro relationship is showing that AWS is working more with partners. This will become even more important as AWS competes with Microsoft Azure, which is 100-percent channel. Amazon started direct, and is still working to fix its programs.”

Matt Huff, principle and president at Redapt, a Woodinville, Wash.-based channel partner of both AWS and Ingram Micro, told CRN the agreement shows the significant investment both companies are making.

“We lean on Ingram Micro heavily for a lot of resources,” he said. “A lot of what AWS offers, Ingram Micro can build a program around it. As Ingram Micro builds stronger relationships with AWS, it cascades down to us. And from what I understand, this will continue to accelerate.”

The expanded relationship should also help give channel partners a one-to-one relationship in developing their AWS business, Huff said.

“With public cloud providers, resellers are typically pooled when dealing with sales representatives,” he said. “But with Ingram Micro, we get a single point of contact with someone who knows our business.”

Redapt prefers to work directly with vendors or cloud providers for its infrastructure and cloud business, and stay away from distributors, Huff said.

“It’s ironic,” he said. “With AWS, we get a ton of value through Ingram Micro with all the tools they provide. We got along without distributors for years, and it’s funny that we now depend on distribution to help with financing and other program benefits.”

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