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Ingram Micro Seeing Traction with Cloud Conduit Initiative

In June of this year, Ingram Micro held their first Cloud Summit in Dallas, Texas where their Cloud Conduit initiative launched. Over the last two months, Ingram has been busy signing resellers to new cloud services.

Supporting the Channel with the Cloud Conduit Program

Ingram structured the recently announced Cloud Conduit program to provide resellers with a range of options to choose and sell from including support for cloud-specific enablement applications and Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) services.  This latest initiative from Ingram is comprised of Seismic managed services and SaaS-based applications from software providers Ingram resells to the channel.  Ingram is providing channel development, channel sales support, marketing and support for AppExchange ISVS to resell their applications through Ingram as well.  At present, there are 1,600 Seismic partners throughout North America.

In addition to all these activities, Ingram’s Services Division has also created a Cloud Conduit Advisory Council – a strategy Ingram has relied on for years for making sure technology providers and resellers stay in sync with each other.  Founding technology providers include Amazon Web Services, CA, Citrix Systems, McAfee, Microsoft, Rackspace Hosting and salesforce.com.

Cloud Summit Re-Cap

Over the last two months, Ingram has released a steady stream of videos and presentations from the June launch event of Cloud Conduit.  This week the majority of them are up.  You can find the main Cloud Summit site here, and be sure to scroll down to see videos from Peter Coffee of Salesforce.com who spoke on Cloud Partner Ecosystems: Opportunity and Necessity.

You will also find an excellent presentation from one of the most interesting speakers in cloud computing, Narinder Singh, Chief Marketing Officer of Appirio.  He spoke on Cloud Partner Ecosystems: Opportunity and Necessity.  Additional speakers included Justin Croddy of Ingram’s Services Division, Deniz Tortop of Microsoft, Lee Kedrie of HP, Matt Thompson of Microsoft and Lew Moorman of Rackspace.

Analysis

Ingram’s decades of expertise in managing resellers, funding new initiatives, and keeping resellers and technology providers communicating with each other is well known.  Cloud computing however is much more customized to the reseller level, requiring a greater level of sales and channel development.

The Cloud Conduit is perfectly timed and has the right technology partners, yet the ability of this initiative to scale and deliver a customized selling platform for each reseller will be a potentially large challenge.

In the interim however, the combination of the Cloud Conduit Advisory Council and intensive education Ingram is delivering to the channel about the economics of cloud computing show that the company has momentum in what will become a very crowded area of the cloud computing market.  Peter Coffee discusses cloud economics in the following segment from his longer talk given at the Cloud Summit.

Bottom line: Reselling cloud computing services shows much potential as a market for technology platform and application providers. The challenge is the ability to tailor the services mix efficiently and accurately enough to capitalize on scalability and selective demand of mid-tier and small business end users.

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