Distributor giant Ingram Micro kicked off its first Cloud Summit in Dallas with the launch of a new services initiative called Cloud Conduit, designed to connect the company’s channel partners with a wide range of cloud computing players including ISVs, hosted services providers and system integrators. To kick-start this forum-of-sorts, Ingram has also announced partnerships, or “emerging relationships,” with cloud service heavy-hitters Amazon Web Services (AWS) LLC, Rackspace Hosting and salesforce.com.
The Cloud Conduit program is designed to give channel partners a more extensive menu of cloud-specific resources and services to drive their marketing efforts, including educational tools, business development resources, sales training and Webinars, as well as access to solutions such as Infrastructure-as-a-service. It’s all part of a push to extend Ingram’s market position with regard to cloud services beyond its Seismic managed services line, which includes cloud and software-as-a-service solutions, toward that of a strategic partner seeking to drive innovation and customer adoption in cloud computing.
“The blending of the managed IT services model and cloud computing is an evolutionary step in the advancement of IT services,” says Jason Beal, director, service sales, Ingram Micro North America. “Cloud computing introduces a new playing field for solution providers and managed service providers. With the advent of cloud computing comes tremendous opportunity for our channel partners to add high value managed solutions and services from the cloud into their services portfolio and ultimately earn more business. Ingram Micro introduced the Cloud Conduit to help our channel partners take advantage of and maximize the business opportunities the cloud brings to the table.”
Under the program, Ingram will pursue varying tacks to deliver its new business partners’ solutions to its channel base. Ingram will offer Amazon’s on-demand, pay-as-you-go Web Services to the channel, while providing salesforce.com, an enterprise cloud computing vendor, with channel development, marketing, and channel sales services, to its AppExchange stable of ISVs (independent software vendor). As for Rackspace, Ingram will integrate the company’s managed and cloud-hosted solutions with its Seismic managed service portfolio, making the full range of solutions available to the more than 1,600 Seismic partners across North America, as well as solution provider.
Ingram is also taking Cloud Conduit a step further than traditional technology partnerships, establishing a new “industry leadership group” entitled the Cloud Conduit Advisory Council. The founding members include Ingram and its above-mentioned partners, along with CA, Citrix Systems, McAfee, and Microsoft, who promise to spur market adoption by better educating the industry about cloud computing in general.
“We created the Cloud Conduit Advisory Council to establish a common ground for the IT industry’s cloud innovators to share their vision, seek new alliances and drive greater visibility into the opportunity, challenges and benefits that cloud computing brings to the IT channel at large,” said Justin Crotty, vice president, services. “Together we will further enable our channel partners to clearly articulate and demonstrate the benefits of cloud computing to their customers.”