IT and Business Insights for SMB Solution Providers

Ingram Micro Enhances Cloud Marketplace Sales, Marketing, Support, and Integration Features: Page 2 of 3

New capabilities introduced today by cloud exec Renee Bergeron (pictured) are designed to help channel pros mimic the best practices of resellers who emphasize client acquisition and customer service rather than backend operational processes. By Rich Freeman

Dan Blumenthal, a principal at North Light IT, a provider of cloud and managed IT services in Stoughton, Mass., sees similar potential in the ConnectWise integration’s impact on his fast-growing company’s productivity. “I used to think it’s not that big a deal,” he says of cross-platform connectivity. “We’ve slowly crossed over to the scale where I can now see that it could save us a lot of time, so I’m interested in a way that I wasn’t maybe a year or two ago,” he says.

SAP, Microsoft Dynamics, and Datto’s Autotask PSA solution are three of many solutions that will utilize the Marketplace API in the future. Partners can use the API to link not only vendor platforms but their own custom-developed management solutions to Ingram’s cloud infrastructure. “The beauty of it being an API is that if our partners have a homegrown system, then they can program to our API and still have that level of integration,” Bergeron says.

To benefit partners that develop solutions, as opposed to sell them, Ingram has rolled out a new onboarding system named Connect that’s designed to reduce the cost and complexity of publishing and managing cloud services. The system offers ISVs eager to reach Ingram’s extensive reseller base a variety of publishing, digital contracting, multi-marketplace targeting, and sales and marketing content creation tools.

“With intellectual property like the Ingram Micro Cloud Marketplace and with intellectual property like Connect, we are one step closer to achieving our vision where vendors and ISVs can actually self-onboard onto our platform,” said Bergeron this morning.

Getting new solutions onto the marketplace faster is a win for resellers as well as ISVs, according to Deepak Thadani, president and CEO of SCO Cloud LLC, a provider of cloud hosting, backup, and migration services based in Armonk, N.Y.

“The big benefit is it shows me what else is out there that’s already been vetted as a decent solution,” he says. “I don’t have to worry about is it a viable solution, is it a viable company? They’ve already taken care of that.”

Bergeron dedicated time in her presentation this morning to highlight cloud marketplace enhancements that debuted last year. Those include a revamped user interface featuring a bigger, more visible search bar, a banner carousel and product page that highlight new offerings, and the ability to save pre-configured orders for quick re-purchasing.

“It made [the marketplace] a lot easier to manage,” says Bock of the new UI. “You had a couple of different views. Now you have one.”

According to Blumenthal, the new interface requires less training, making it more accessible to more employees. “It’s gotten to the point of user-friendliness where we can have more people on our team use it,” he says.

Bergeron also discussed Ingram’s recently-introduced “infrastructure as a service center of excellence,” which allows partners to augment their in-house capabilities by outsourcing assessment, design, proof of concept, migration, cost optimization, and other tasks to Ingram. According to Gartner, global spending on IaaS will climb some 28 percent this year to $39.5 billion.

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