IT and Business Insights for SMB Solution Providers

Ingram Micro Launches Microsoft Azure Enablement Program

In an announcement timed to coincide with Microsoft’s partner conference this week, the distributor introduced new services aimed at helping resellers design, build, and manage Azure-based infrastructure solutions. By Rich Freeman

Ingram Micro Inc. has introduced a new enablement program designed to help resellers design, build, and manage infrastructure-as-a-service solutions based on the Microsoft Azure public cloud.

The Irvine, Calif.-based broadline distributor timed the launch to coincide with Microsoft’s 2017 Inspire partner conference, which is currently taking place in Washington D.C.

Part of Ingram Micro’s broader Infrastructure Your Way initiative, the new Azure enablement program contains three components. The first, named Easy Azure, gives resellers who just want to offer a few quick Azure solutions access to complete turnkey services, along with associated pricing guidelines, blueprints, and how-to materials.

The second, called Azure Experts, is a multi-day training course for partners looking to build an Azure service practice, and includes a fundamentals guide, enablement kit, and certification track.

The third and most in-depth component, named Azure Advanced, enables serious Azure resellers to bring solutions to market in collaboration with Ingram Micro’s pre-sales technical experts and post-sales solution architects.

Global spending on infrastructure-as-a-service and its close cousin platform-as-a-service are set to grow at CAGRs of 30.1 percent and 32.2 respectively over the next five years, according to analyst firm IDC, which expects worldwide outlays on public cloud services and infrastructure overall to reach $122.5 billion this year.

Ingram has been encouraging its partners to tap into the IaaS opportunity at least since its Cloud Summit event in April. Speaking to attendees there, Renee Bergeron, Ingram’s senior vice president of global cloud, cited statistics showing that channel partners are responsible for 55 percent of cloud computing revenue generally but just 20 percent of IaaS revenue specifically.

“I believe that infrastructure as a service is the biggest untapped opportunity for channel partners,” she said.

The new Azure enablement program is the first step in a larger effort on Ingram’s part to help resellers hone IaaS skills and develop IaaS solution offerings. Similar programs for Amazon Web Services and IBM Bluemix will follow in future months.

Ingram isn’t the only major tech industry player talking up Azure this week. On Monday, during a morning keynote at Inspire, Microsoft itself announced $250 million worth of investments in new staff, commissions, and programs dedicated to co-selling Azure-based solutions with its channel partners, as well as new embeddable Azure services that software vendors can incorporate directly within their products.

In a separate announcement also made in conjunction with Inspire, Ingram has opened the cloud orchestration tool it introduced at its Cloud Summit event to members of its early adopter program in the U.S. Named the Ingram Micro Cloud Orchestrator and available free of charge, that system equips partners to order, provision, manage, and bill customers for Azure IaaS deployments, as well as solutions hosted in Amazon Web Services, IBM Bluemix, and other public clouds.

Ingram’s Odin Automation partners have been using that solution since April. A broader global rollout to the company’s entire partner base will begin later this quarter.

ChannelPro SMB Magazine
SUBSCRIBE FREE!

Get an edge on the competition

With each issue packed full of powerful news, reviews, analysis and advice targeting IT channel professionals, ChannelPro-SMB will help you cultivate your SMB customers and run your business more profitably.