Ingram Micro Inc. has added an extensive range of new capabilities to its Odin Automation cloud marketplace offering. Collectively, the new features seek to turn what has traditionally been a tool for buying and reselling software-as-a-service offerings into a comprehensive platform for provisioning, orchestrating, and managing both cloud-based software and infrastructure that’s backed by a complete spectrum of partner and opportunity enablement support.
The announcements were made this morning during a keynote address at the Irvine, Calif.-based distributor’s Cloud Summit event, which is now taking place in Phoenix.
Most of the enhancements impact the premium edition of Odin Automation. According to Ingram, over 160 telecommunication and hosting firms worldwide utilize that system at present to provide self-serve cloud solution ordering services to more than 6 million end users. It also powers the Ingram Micro cloud marketplace currently used by over 40,000 resellers globally and the Ingram Micro Cloud Store, the self-serve storefront solution introduced at last year’s Cloud Summit.
Both Odin Automation Premium and Ingram Micro cloud marketplace users will receive access to business intelligence functionality that displays key sales and consumption statistics on customizable dashboards. Resellers can use that data to monitor the health of their cloud business and hunt down cross-sale and upsell opportunities among their customers.
“[It] will help our reseller partners better analyze and monetize their cloud business,” says Renee Bergeron (pictured), senior vice president of global cloud at Ingram Micro.
Also new to the Odin platform is a cloud orchestration system that enables partners to order, provision, manage, and bill customers for infrastructure-as-a-service deployments spanning Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, IBM Bluemix, and other public cloud environments. Officially named the Ingram Micro Cloud Orchestrator and available free of charge to the distributor’s partners, the solution is designed to make delivering web-based virtual servers, desktops, and other resources easier for cloud resellers.
“They don’t need to learn the configurator of each of these infrastructure-as-a-service providers,” Bergeron notes. “They can work in a single portal.”
The new orchestration tool is based on a solution called Concerto that Ingram Micro acquired for an undisclosed sum from Flexiant, a European maker of cloud orchestration software with U.S. headquarters in New York City. Word of that transaction first became public today. According to Bergeron, the distributor has significantly augmented the system’s capabilities since purchasing it.
Ingram Micro Cloud Orchestrator is available immediately to direct Odin Automation Premium subscribers and will roll out to Ingram Micro cloud marketplace users next month.
Other additions to the Odin platform announced today include a new tile-based end user control panel. Called NextCP and slated to ship during the second quarter of the year, the updated UI makes utilizing Odin-powered cloud marketplaces a more intuitive process for a reseller’s clients.
“In e-commerce, and in the internet in general, it’s all about the customer experience,” Bergeron says. “This just takes customer experience to a whole new level.”
The wave of updates unveiled this morning also includes enhancements to Odin Automation Essentials, the stripped-down version of the Odin platform first introduced at the 2016 Cloud Summit event.
That system, which is designed for use by advanced cloud resellers looking to fold Ingram Micro’s cloud solution catalog into their existing provisioning and payment systems, now enables partners to sell, provision, administer, and orchestrate web hosting and virtual private network solutions housed on their own infrastructure through the Odin management interface.
Bergeron also disclosed plans this morning to expand the Ingram Micro Cloud Referral Program, which pays commissions to partners who drive cloud service buyers to Ingram Micro’s cloud marketplace, into 16 new global markets by the end of 2017, as well as a new incentive offer for Microsoft Office 365 referrals. Through the end of June, Igram partners will receive payments totaling 22% of customer billings on Office 365 sales.†
Bergeron says the referral program, which was first announced at last year’s Cloud Summit, is an especially convenient option for partners affected by the pending discontinuation of Microsoft’s Online Services Advisor program, under which resellers identified as the “partner of record” by customers purchasing cloud solutions like Office 365 directly from Microsoft received a portion of the subscription fees. Microsoft began shutting down the so-called “advisor model” last October, and will cancel it completely at the end of June.
“Any SMB partners that have advisory subscriptions can move them to our referral program and continue to receive commissions,” Bergeron notes.
Now in its 8th year, the Cloud Summit is Ingram Micro’s top showcase for new cloud partnerships and solution offerings. In addition to enhancements to the Odin platform, the distributor also announced new tools for including hardware in cloud deals, adding cloud solutions to Ingram’s cloud catalog, and tapping into Ingram’s deep pool of cloud vendor relationships this morning.
On Monday, meanwhile, Ingram revealed that it’s now the first vendor authorized to distribute the Spark collaboration suite from San Jose, Calif.-based Cisco Systems Inc. on a cloud marketplace. It followed that up the next day with word of an expanded partnership with Symantec Corp., of Mountain View, Calif., and the addition of new industry-specific technology “blueprints” for cloud solutions and managed services to its Vertical Expo Live online learning environment.
The Cloud Summit concludes tomorrow.