Ingram Micro used its Cloud Summit event in Phoenix this week to introduce new marketing and technical supports for its cloud-focused solution provider.
Renee Bergeron, vice president of managed services and cloud computing at Ingram Micro, introduced the new programs from the main stage, noting that it marks an inflection point, a shift in Ingram’s approach to working on the cloud with partners.
“We centered on Cloud 101 at first, but we’ve come a long way – our reseller really get cloud computing now,” she told attendees.
With less effort on education, the distributor is turning its attentions toward supporting partners cloud go-to-market strategies with its “Seeding the Cloud” marketing program, as well as a new Cloud Desk to help partners go deeper.
The marketing program, offered in conjunction with vendor partners AlertLogic, CA, Cisco, SherWeb, and Trend Micro, sees the distributor work with partners on their cloud business plan, and then provides funding from Ingram and the supporting vendors to help partners market their cloud efforts, in return for partners committing to meeting the agreed-upon plan.
The marketing program is available to the distributor’s reseller customers in the U.S. and Canada, and can be used to cover marketing events ranging from Webinars to in-person promotional events, or any number of other traditional or new marketing approaches.
Bergeron said the program was developed to help partners deal with a common issue the distributor was noticing as the cloud market matures – the challenge of accelerating the growth of their cloud businesses. As such, it will be primarily focused on partners who’ve already begun to see results from their cloud business and are looking to build that up. The more “cloud 101” educational resources remain in place to help slower-to-the-cloud partners get out of the starters blocks with their cloud business.
The distributor also formally introduced its Cloud Desk, a collection of some 200 technical resources with more than 1,000 cloud-related certifications among them. Cloud Desk formalizes the distributor’s pre- and post-sales support capabilities, including the ability to take on “cloud configurator” services on behalf of solution providers.
The distributor has long offered such technical services in support of a variety of vendors in a variety of fields, but the creation of a formal cloud practice will help Ingram deliver higher-value integration services, something that Jason Bystrak, director of cloud and managed services for Ingram, said was all the more important as many partners go deeper into their own cloud journeys and look to build more customization and integration amongst cloud apps.
Cloud Desk offers support for one of Ingram’s big messages to partners here at the event: their assertion that the move towards cloud services for their VARs must be accompanied by more, and deeper, professional services. That message that was brought home by the event’s final keynoter, Gartner analyst Tiffani Bova, who hammered home the message that professional services are where the money is in the cloud, urging partner to not simply “chase recurring revenues.”