IT and Business Insights for SMB Solution Providers

Ingram Micro Makes Adding Hardware to Cloud Sales and Listing Cloud Solutions in its Service Catalog Simpler

Announced on opening day of the distributor’s 8th annual Cloud Summit event, the new benefits make increasing the size of cloud deals and monetizing internally developed cloud products easier for its partners. 

By Rich Freeman

Ingram Micro Inc. has added hardware to its cloud computing services catalog and made leveraging and augmenting the contents of that catalog simpler for its partners.

The announcements were made this morning in conjunction with the distributor’s Cloud Summit event, which is currently underway in Phoenix.

The new hardware offerings enable Ingram Micro partners to include devices like Microsoft’s Surface and Surface Pro tablets when selling cloud-based software and infrastructure to their customers.

“Now the SMB reseller can go in and select some cloud services as well as some Surface devices, bundle them into a solution, and push them out to their end customers,” says Renee Bergeron, Ingram Micro’s senior vice president of global cloud.

In addition to increasing the value of cloud opportunities, adding hardware allows resellers to build and deliver more complete solutions for their clients, she adds. Those could include Internet of Things offerings or retail solutions combining hosted applications with the Silver and Silver Pro point-of-sale systems from Duluth, Ga.-based NCR Corp. that Ingram Micro added to its line card in February.

Independent software vendors can more easily position their cloud-based products to play a part in solutions like those with the help of the new API generation tool Ingram Micro unveiled today. Called APS Connect, the system is designed to help cloud software makers link their solutions to Ingram Micro’s back end provisioning, billing, and management infrastructure in as little as a few days. Creating APIs manually often requires 50 to 100 person days of effort, Bergeron notes, adding that APS Connect generates basic, standardized APIs that vendors can enhance manually later.

“It allows them to dip their toe in the water, and as they see success and traction on the marketplace they can go in and customize that API to offer much more sophisticated features,” she says, citing tiered pricing and trial offers as examples.

The easier application onboarding that APS Connect makes possible benefits cloud resellers too, Bergeron continues.

“It means the catalog is going to grow much faster now,” she says, giving partners more options to choose from when assembling solutions for their customers.

Resellers can also use APS Connect to list cloud solutions developed in house on Ingram’s cloud marketplace. VARs and MSPs are turning applications originally created for their own use into product offerings in growing numbers.

The new Ingram Micro Federation Program, which also debuted today, helps telecommunication firms, hosting vendors, and other large service providers rapidly expand their product listings. Instead of negotiating contracts one by one for every solution they sell, service providers can create a “hybrid catalog” of cloud products that leverages Ingram Micro’s deep pool of vendor relationships in addition to their own previously drafted supplier agreements. The end result is significantly shorter time to market for new cloud offerings and reduced vendor management, systems integration, billing, and support burdens.

Service providers can also use Ingram Micro Federation to make their own cloud products available to all of the companies in the distributor’s cloud partner ecosystem.

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