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Acer America Corp. is a computer manufacturer of business and consumer PCs, notebooks, ultrabooks, projectors, servers, and storage products.


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March 31, 2021 |

Ingram Micro Buys Harmony Business Systems, Adds PSA Solution to CloudBlue Platform

The transaction positions Ingram, the company says, to provide an end-to-end set of tightly integrated master MSP services to its cloud computing partners.

Ingram Micro has acquired PSA vendor Harmony Business Systems and integrated its flagship solution, HarmonyPSA, with the CloudBlue B2B ecommerce enablement family.

The deal, which closed early in the third quarter of 2020 but has not been announced publicly until now, positions Ingram to provide traditional resellers who wish to become MSPs a comprehensive set of managed service enablement resources, according to Rajesh Marar, executive director of CloudBlue. 

“We need to be able to provide them a platform that gives them not only the tooling but also the services that allow them to succeed as MSPs,” he says.

Marar now leads Harmony, which will continue to operate under its original name as an independent Ingram Micro business unit within the CloudBlue organization.

The CloudBlue platform currently integrates with leading third-party PSA solutions and will continue to do so, according to Marar. 

“It’s an open ecosystem,” he says. “We will not restrict choice.” Offering a PSA solution of its own though, Marar continues, will allow Ingram to supply seamless connections to the company’s lead generation campaigns, professional services, finance offerings, and other cloud service provider programs.

“The differentiation is in the integration that we have and the ability to provide an end-to-end service,” Marar says. “These are things that some of our other technology partners that we have in that space are not able to provide.”

According to Marar, Harmony’s change of ownership won’t affect existing HarmonyPSA users. “There should be no changes from their perspective,” he says. “All the contracts and all the arrangements that we have with them will continue.”

Current and future HarmonyPSA users can also continue to buy cloud services through distributors other than Ingram Micro, Marar adds. “It is ultimately their choice in who they want to do business with,” he says. “We will not in any shape or form restrict that.”

The CloudBlue platform, which Ingram built over nine years at a cost of some $500 million and officially launched in 2018, was designed from the start to give channel pros making the transition from transactional one-time product sales to subscription-priced managed services an all-inclusive combination of orchestration, provisioning, billing, marketing, management, and other services. 

Adding a PSA solution to the portfolio completes what Marar calls Ingram’s “digital supply chain vision,” and will allow the company to fill a role in the managed services ecosystem long associated with Continuum (which ConnectWise acquired in 2019) and Collabrance, among others.

“What we’re trying to do here is to execute on what I call a master MSP vision,” says Marar. 

Despite that fact, he stresses, Ingram is more intent on providing a complete set of MSP services to its partners than on competing with existing PSA vendors.

“I don’t necessarily see this as something where we’re trying to lure any customers away from ConnectWise or any of the other partners that we have,” he says. “I think there’s a huge opportunity, and there are a lot of people who have a need, and we’re just looking to enable our partner base the best we can.”

Ingram evaluated several PSA software makers, but chose Harmony due to the flexibility of HarmonyPSA’s payment module, which supports pay-as-you-go, fixed bid, and other business models. The Harmony product is also a multilingual, multicurrency platform well suited to CloudBlue’s global user base, Marar notes.

Founded in 2017 in the U.K., Harmony named managed services veteran Alistair Forbes its chairman that same year. Forbes had previously been general manager of LOGICnow prior to that company’s acquisition by SolarWinds in 2016. According to Marar, all of the company’s present leaders and developers have remained with the company since the acquisition.

Ingram has spent the months since closing the Harmony acquisition weaving the company’s technology and roadmap together with the rest of the CloudBlue platform. “We wanted to make sure that we thought it through and could see how it fit in our bigger picture vision and strategy,” Marar says, noting that coronavirus-related travel restrictions delayed the post-purchase integration process as well. 

“This has been a very challenging year,” he says. “I have not had the opportunity to visit the team in the U.K.”

Ingram’s entry into the PSA market comes just over a week after two of its top global competitors, SYNNEX and Tech Data, announced a merger agreement.

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