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Ingram Adds Salesforce Essentials to Cloud Solutions Portfolio

The distributor plans to make further Salesforce applications available to partners in the future in conjunction with a strategic effort to offer “more as a service,” according to global cloud VP Nimesh Davé (pictured). By Rich Freeman

Ingram Micro has added Salesforce to its expansive line card of cloud vendors.

Effective today, Ingram partners in North America can resell Salesforce’s small business-oriented Salesforce Essentials solution. Additional Salesforce applications will follow, according to Nimesh Davé, Ingram’s executive vice president of global cloud.

“We’re excited to have Salesforce Essentials available to all of our partners across the different territories, and we’ll continue to offer even more solutions around Salesforce in the future,” said Davé in a keynote address this morning during a virtual edition of Ingram’s annual Cloud Summit event.

Salesforce, which accounted for 18.4% of cloud spending in 2019, increased its market share last year by more percentage points than the rest of the top 13 CRM vendors combined, according to IDC.

Salesforce Essentials joins a catalog of more than 120 solutions in Ingram’s cloud marketplace, which currently serves some 6.5 million seats worldwide. Scale like that enables Ingram to offer “more as a service,” according to Davé, who labeled that concept core to Ingram’s cloud strategy.

“Everything is under one banner, one purpose, one meaning: more support, more hyperscale, more enablement, more cloud services, and ultimately for our partners more profit,” he said.

Much of Davé’s presentation outlined efforts Ingram has made in pursuit of that goal, beginning with the 2018 launch of CloudBlue, a global cloud commerce platform constructed over nine years at a cost of $500 million. Software vendors can now use CloudBlue Connect to add solutions to that platform, according to Davé, on an automated self-serve basis.

“Today, we’re able to board any partner into our ecosystem—whether it’s a professional services provider, an internet service provider, an infrastructure-as-a-service provider, a SaaS provider—in a matter of hours,” he said. “What used to take major engineering efforts can be done with just a simple set of clicks.”

Channel pros will soon have the ability to add offerings to the cloud marketplace as well, Davé revealed. “We’re going to introduce the ability in the coming weeks for our value added resellers, MSPs, and partners alike to offer their own services through our marketplace, giving you the ability to monetize and become a much larger company on a global basis.”

Ingram’s Comet Competition is a further way the company augments its cloud solution inventory, Davé continued. Designed to find and nurture promising startups worth adding to Ingram’s cloud portfolio, the annual contest offers the grand winner a $1 million cash prize. In its first year, Davé noted, Comet helped Ingram discover some 300 such newcomers. This year’s competition, by contrast, attracted over 4,400 up-and-coming ISVs.

Continually enlarging Ingram’s lineup of cloud solutions through programs like Comet and tools like CloudBlue Connect, Davé explained, is core to how the company plans to sustain growth in a cloud market that Gartner estimated at $266.4 billion this year before the coronavirus pandemic and related stay-at-home orders triggered a massive uptick in adoption of cloud products.

“It’s important to provide through our commerce systems, not only to Ingram but also all of our other customers around the globe, the ability to sell more, to add adjacent products into their portfolio, to be able to serve different partner groups,” Davé said.

Ingram’s digital Cloud Summit, which runs through Thursday, replaces an in-person event scheduled to take place last month but canceled due to social distancing guidelines and coronavirus-related health concerns. Ingram plans to hold next year’s Cloud Summit in Miami, Davé said this morning, in May 2021.

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