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Ingram Micro Unveils New Cloud Commerce Platform CloudBlue In Partnership With Microsoft

CloudBlue, a new division of Ingram Micro, was developed with Microsoft Azure to provide a cloud base on which large telcos, MSPs, and even other distributors can build turnkey cloud commerce platforms.

Ingram Micro on Wednesday launched CloudBlue, a new, independent software division targeting service providers looking to build, sell, and monetize cloud services.

CloudBlue also represents a new level of partnership with Microsoft for Ingram Micro given that CloudBlue will be running on the Microsoft Azure cloud, and the two companies will jointly sell its services.

CloudBlue is the result of Ingram Micro's investments in technologies and several acquisitions over the past few years aimed toward building the world's biggest cloud ecosystem, said Richard Dufty (pictured), senior vice president for Ingram Micro platforms.

[Related: Ingram Micro Execs To Channel: Look To Peers, Distribution To Fill Expertise Gaps So You Can Meet Business Challenges]

"The focus is on helping joint partners build, scale, and monetize cloud and digital services," Dufty said.

CloudBlue is a hyperscale cloud commerce platform targeting telcos, MSPs, and even other distributors who are building their own cloud services, Dufty told CRN. One company already using CloudBlue for its cloud commerce is D&H Distributing.

"Larger companies who look for volume, complexity, and back-end integration can leverage CloudBlue. … It's part of our not just being a distribution organization, but a technology organization," he said.

CloudBlue is differentiated from the Ingram Micro Cloud Marketplace cloud offering, which targets partners leveraging out-of-the-box services, Dufty said. The Ingram Micro Cloud Marketplace remains unchanged, he said.

CloudBlue is also the platform on which the Ingram Micro Cloud Marketplace runs, Dufty said.

Gavirella Schuster, corporate vice president of commercial partner channels and programs at Microsoft, said CloudBlue will sit on the Microsoft Azure cloud to give the two companies the opportunity to leverage the global scale of Azure.

The use of Azure also gives joint channel partners the ability to quickly ramp up to Microsoft CSP, or cloud solution provider, status, Schuster said.

Dufty said the choice of Azure for the cloud platform for CloudBlue stemmed from the long-term technology relationship between the two companies.

"It was a mixture of leading technology, strong partnership in the past, and the relationship going forward," he said.

CloudBlue offers a proprietary API technology, APS, to provide easy connection to the platform's network of vendor offerings to make them part of other vendors' complete solutions. CloudBlue has already launched and there are already over 200 pre-integrated solutions available from such vendors as Microsoft, Dropbox, DocuSign, IBM, Cisco, and Symantec.

Sam Barhoumeh, founder and CEO of ReadyNetworks, an Evanston, Ill.-based provider of Infrastructure-as-a-Service and a Microsoft CSP, told CRN that his company would like to learn more about what it would take to be a part of the CloudBlue platform.

Barhoumeh said he likes the idea of creating a turnkey solution to streamline cloud operations and reduce complexity, as many partners need cloud platforms but may not want to invest in the resources to create them on their own.

"By creating a platform like this, you ultimately allow these partners to be successful while they still focus on their business revenue and their model while having the tools around cloud and a hybrid strategy to be successful," he said. "So I'm very excited to hear that."

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