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Ingram Micro Expands Cloud Services Access Via Expanded Cloud Marketplace

The distributor wants to make it easier for solution providers to access its cloud services via new portals, a new user interface, and new ways to more easily connect to the vendors publishing those services on the Ingram Micro Cloud Marketplace.

 

Ingram Micro Tuesday enhanced its Ingram Micro Cloud Marketplace with new capabilities to help solution providers and ISVs more easily do business with each other.

The new version of the Ingram Micro Cloud Marketplace was introduced during the Ingram Micro Cloud Summit X, being held this week in San Diego with about 1,500 attendees, including about 500 ISVs.

The changes include the ability to quickly publish new services for partners, a new cloud marketing hub for helping partners make sales, and a new API for easily connecting to third-party services, said Renee Bergeron, global cloud senior vice president for the distributor.  

[Related: CRN Exclusive: Ingram Micro CEO Monie On Distribution, Market Changes, And The Joy Of Being Private]

Cloud Marketplace is a fully automated e-commerce platform and web store that is hosted and managed by Ingram Micro. About 55,000 partners are using it to access cloud services from over 200 vendors worldwide, Bergeron told CRN.

The Ingram Micro Cloud Marketplace enhancements are all about creating digital partners, Bergeron said.  

"We believe digitizing the partner is key to focusing their efforts on growing their business in sales and marketing and on satisfying their customers," she said.

The first addition is a new sales and marketing hub that acts as a portal to provide the tools and education partners need to increase their ability to provide cloud services, Bergeron said.

"Our vision is to provide a ubiquitous portfolio which includes services from thousands of ISVs," she said. "But that can be overwhelming. Partners need help navigating the opportunities."  

Included in the new sales and marketing hub are sales playbooks, marketing collateral and videos, Bergeron said.

"We're also including tools that let partners brand the collateral as their own, launch digital campaigns with the materials, and to use them to generate proposals for customers," she said. "We want to help them increase their brand awareness."  

The second addition is a new user interface for the Ingram Micro Cloud Marketplace aimed at making it easier for partners to navigate the cloud platform. Included are new navigation features to more easily search for and clearly see services, as well as the ability to save pre-configured offerings to make them easier to resell later, Bergeron said.

The new UI also leads to a new customer support portal and self-service portal that lets partners see the latest changes in their accounts, she said. "We want to make cloud services more self-service," she said.

The third major addition to the Ingram Micro Cloud Marketplace is a new Marketplace API aimed at making it easy for partners to work with third-party services providers, Bergeron said.  

Prior to the introduction of the Marketplace API, the Ingram Micro Cloud Marketplace had back-end connections to such partners as ConnectWise or Datto to allow partners to purchase services from Ingram Micro via those partners' platforms.

On the front end, the Marketplace API lets partners integrate their commerce front and their storefront CRM to more easily upload and bring services to market, Bergeron said. "We're integrating with the vendors via the API," she said. "They no longer need to reach out to the services vendor."  

On the back end, certain partners, starting with ConnectWise, can directly integrate with vendors to easily bring services from Ingram Micro to solution providers and MSPs via their platforms, Bergeron said.

"We will prioritize direct integration with ConnectWise," she said. "Channel partners will then be able to, from the ConnectWise console, place orders and subscriptions. We're the back end that enables that."

Bergeron said that a large number of Ingram Micro solution providers and MSPs acquire services from the Ingram Micro Cloud Marketplace and use ConnectWise for their professional services automation system.  

"Today, they receive an invoice for their cloud business from Ingram Micro, but may want to upload it to the ConnectWise PSA," she said. "Now they'll have an API to do this directly. Or if a partner needs incremental capacity or feature, they will be able to get it in the ConnectWise console, which passes it through the Ingram Micro Cloud Marketplace."

The fourth is the launch of a new Infrastructure-as-a-Service Center of Excellence, a expansion of a move two years ago by Ingram Micro to launch an IaaS framework to provide channel partners with infrastructure enablement services, Bergeron said.

The new IaaS Center of Excellence is aimed at helping partners with the competencies to deploy IaaS but not the bandwidth fill in the gap, she said.  

"We offer design, proof of concept, and integration services," she said. "Partners can white-label Ingram Micro's team of certified technicians that sit behind the partner. This is something that partners with big services benches probably won't need unless they need bursting of services or to leverage specific new solutions from hyper-scalers."

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