Distributor Ingram Micro has announced a new professional services offering, the Ingram Micro Preferred App Dev Network, designed to put solution providers in the U.S. and Canada in touch with app developers who can provide them with assistance in key areas.
“As we have become more sophisticated in our professional services, we have found that while our reseller partners have wonderful expertise in infrastructure and the ability to deliver complex services, they sometimes lacked the ability to do things from an application perspective,” said Greg Richey, director, Professional and Training Services at Ingram Micro. To that end, the distributor earlier rolled out some programmatic initiatives, which were shared with resellers at the end of January.
“These fell into three distinct buckets,” Richey said. “The first was Big Data. Partner expertise, whether around SAP HANA or Hadoop was lacking, so we created in our Application Development Network a competency around those types of analytics offerings.”
The second focus area was mobility strategy.
“That is a heritage for us, but we found that partners were lacking ability to ask ‘do you have an app for that’ when deploying a mobility solution.”
The third pillar was integration and migration, mainly stemming from work within the cloud.
“Partners can sell the cloud, but in many instances migration into the cloud is an inhibitor for the end user,” Richey said. “For the partner, the issue was how do they best move legacy data from on-prem to the cloud, and we wanted to give them an avenue to expand their capabilities and their margins.”
Richey said that stronger ability on the application side was something that many of their resellers did not consider previously, and they are now seeing there is real demand.
Now, Ingram Micro is supplementing this initiative by drawing on the resources of expert app developers through Ingram Micro Link. It will connect solution providers with network providers with proven, high quality IT and solutions development, integration and migration capabilities in these critical areas of Big Data, mobility, and cloud integration and migration.
“When we began to see this need, we identified companies in Ingram Micro Link that have a competency in those three pillars, to put together a preferred community of developers,” Richey said. “We have been working the last several weeks to vet them and put this all together, and are announcing it now.”
Thirty-seven Ingram Micro Link Preferred Service Providers are available to partners, with pricing based on a statement of work from the application developer providers. The invoicing will be simplified by utilizing established payment terms with Ingram Micro.
“Mobility is big for us, and we are already seeing interest in this from partners,” Richey said. “Similarly, on cloud migration, there have been requests from the partner community to help them migrate into hosted data centres, and with hybrid solutions. We anticipate Big Data demand will be a little slower initially, because many partners in it now have those capabilities, but we feel as more partners get into it, demand for assistance will increase.”
Even though in some ways, vendors encouraging integration with their products have made application development easier, Richey said there will always be demand for this kind of service.
“In a vacuum, certain areas have definitely become easier, and many partners could do some of these things themselves,” he said. “But rarely is the issue doing a single thing, Creating an application may be easier, but tapping it into a back end, and migrating things, is not.”