Ingram Micro To Buy 500-Person Cloud Management Vendor

Ingram Micro has purchased the Odin service automation platform to turbocharge cloud software development and strengthen the distributor’s presence in the telecom and hosting spaces.

Irvine, Calif.-based Ingram Micro began licensing Odin, owned by Parallels Holdings, in 2013, using the cloud service provider to build the distributor’s automated Cloud Marketplace, and announced an equity investment in Parallels the following year.

Odin, a 500-person division of Renton, Wash.-based Parallels has roughly 250 software engineers, which should enable Ingram to invest in evolving new software to ensure it meets the needs of channel partners, according to Renee Bergeron, Ingram Micro’s vice president of worldwide cloud computing.

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’We felt strongly that owning the software and having the skills and talent of the Odin team … would really help ensure that we could realize our strategy,’ Bergeron told CRN. ’Parallels is the market leader when it comes to cloud marketplace technology.’

Terms of the deal, which is expected to close later this month, were not disclosed. The acquisition isn’t expected to materially impact the 2016 financial results of Ingram, the $46 billion distribution giant.

Having Odin as part of Ingram should also allow the distributor to accelerate the functionality of its Cloud Marketplace and the on-boarding of additional vendors and cloud service providers, giving reseller partners more cloud offerings to provision, manage and invoice, Bergeron said. More than 12,000 resellers across 16 countries are using Ingram Micro’s Cloud Marketplace today, according to Bergeron.

Odin counts more than 4,000 hosting and 300 telecom companies among its customer base, which Bergeron said should enable Ingram Micro to deepen its relationships in these emerging channels.

Ingram Micro got into the telecom space with its 2012 acquisition of mobile distributor BrightPoint, and Bergeron said the Odin deal will enable the distributor to expand these relationships around cloud. There is significant overlap between the BrightPoint and Odin customer bases, Bergeron said.

Ingram Micro has few relationships with hosting partners today, but Bergeron believes the distributor could have success in that space based on its expertise around managed services, cloud services and e-commerce.

’It’s an exciting expansion for us,’ Bergeron said.

Parallels rebranded its service provider business unit as Odin earlier this year but kept the Parallels name for its Plesk and Virtuozzo software entities, which allow for the running of Windows apps on Macs. Parallels will retain ownership over Peak and Virtuozzo, which will continue to be available for Ingram Micro to resell to its customers.

Parallels appeared on CRN’s 2015 Cloud 100 and Virtualization 50 list, and was one of the first vendors to offer Azure and a SmartStart for Office 365 through Microsoft’s Cloud Solutions Provider program. Odin is particularly strong in the Microsoft ecosystem, enabling partners to automate end-to-end service delivery, customer management and billing across Azure, Office 365 and the Enterprise Mobility Suite.

Odin’s partnership with Ingram Micro over the past two years has made it possible for VARs to deploy a more comprehensive range of private, public and hybrid cloud solutions as well as provide a broader range of professional services and support capabilities, Mauro Meanti, Parallels' senior vice president and general manager, wrote in February as part of a 2015 Channel Chiefs profile.

Partners are enjoying robust growth in the service provider and telecom spaces, Meanti said.

Bergeron said the acquisition will enable Odin and its customer base to tap into Ingram Micro’s financial strength, global coverage and relationships with more than 1,700 vendors and cloud service providers. Odin’s software is also licensed by some of Ingram Micro’s direct competitors, though Bergeron said the distributor is committed to supporting all of Odin’s existing customers.

Once the Odin acquisition closes, Ingram Micro will have more than 1,200 associates dedicated exclusively to the cloud, 400 of whom will be leveraging their engineering backgrounds to develop new technologies for the Cloud Marketplace.

’We certainly view Ingram playing a key role in the cloud ecosystem,’ Bergeron said.

Bringing Odin under the Ingram Micro umbrella should provide channel partners with more value in the Cloud Marketplace, according to Michael Goldstein, president of Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.-based LAN Infotech. LAN Infotech uses Ingram Micro’s Cloud Marketplace for almost all its Office 365 licensing, Goldstein said, and is impressed by the flexibility and responsiveness of the Odin-powered platform, as well as Ingram Micro’s commitment to adding quality products and services.

’I think it [the Odin acquisition] is great,’ Goldstein said. ’Service automation is just the next piece to help in this transition.’