SMB Partners Say Ingram Micro's New Cloud Charge Is A Mixed Bag

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But other Ingram Micro partners attending the Cloud Summit, who say the majority of their business is already cloud-based, told CRN they would have serious reservations about porting 100 percent of their cloud business to Ingram Micro. Those partners say the existing and upcoming Cloud Marketplace doesn't offer the precise type of controls they need to manage hosted cloud services.

Malik Khan, CEO of PointClick Technologies, who describes himself as a loyal Ingram Micro partner, said despite what the distributor says, he fears losing granular control over email, disaster recovery and security with a one-size-fits-all approach to account management. 

"Being better at managing email, caring more than my competition about disaster recovery and security are ways I differentiate myself," Khan said. "If I park my cloud business with Ingram Micro, there are huge advantages when it comes to unified billing and management. But how do I know if Ingram Micro's as maniacal over security and disaster recovery as I am?"

Other Cloud Summit attendees expressed concerns about potential conflicts of interest over new hosting options rolled out by Ingram Micro, which include hosted Exchange, virtual private server, and web hosting powered by its recent SoftCom acquisition. The move puts the distributor, for the first time, in conflict with vendor partners such as 365 Main, Amazon, Intermedia, Microsoft, Rackspace and Reflexion.

"Ingram Micro is my trusted IT adviser," said Kevin Walsh, IT consultant with Host For You, a Poway, Calif.-based managed service provider. "If Ingram is tempted to put its own interests ahead of mine then that's something that worries me."

Nimesh Dave, Ingram Micro's executive vice president of Global Cloud Computing, said, "Reseller partners like having options. We aren't telling them, 'Take the Ingram solutions.' We are saying, 'Here are the choices that you have and here is the merit of every single solution. We let the customer decide what they want to purchase and from whom."


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