IT and Business Insights for SMB Solution Providers

Ingram Micro Launches Membership Program for Growth-Focused Cloud Partners

Called, ULTRA, it offers access to white-glove resources only the biggest cloud service providers typically get from vendors or can afford to buy themselves. By Rich Freeman

Ingram Micro has officially launched a paid program designed to help ambitious cloud computing partners add recurring revenue and increase customer retention.

Quietly introduced in May at this year’s Ingram Micro Cloud Summit in Miami and available to all partners now, the ULTRA Membership Program offers access to customized reporting data, tools, expertise, incentives, training vouchers, and other resources that only the biggest cloud service providers typically get from vendors or can afford to buy themselves.

“Our goal was to create a way that all partners could get an extra level of engagement, attention, and benefits that is purely structured around the four things that set apart some very large partners from the smaller ones,” says Eric Gitter, executive director of global customer success in Ingram’s cloud unit. 

Each of those four differentiators corresponds to one of ULTRA’s benefit categories: insights, automation, know-how, and exclusives. Insights refers to personalized information, based on transaction details and telemetry collected by Ingram’s Cloud Marketplace, about cross-sell and upsell opportunities.

“The feedback we have so far is that’s uncovered a lot of business opportunities,” Gitter says.

Additional reports provide members intelligence about client renewal rates and high-risk customers paying for cloud solutions that they haven’t yet deployed. “This gives them a view of what’s happening when it comes to churn, retention, and usage,” Gitter observes.

Members can view information on which certifications their employees have or lack as well. Benchmarking data allows them to compare their performance in all reporting categories against other cloud partners. 

“I can very easily spot that I have a lot more certifications than my peers but my retention seems to be lower than the respective peer group, or my growth is higher,” Gitter explains.

Automation-related benefits include a free two-user license to CloudBlue PSA, the professional services automation solution Ingram introduced last year, as well as the ability to offer white-labeled, self-serve subscription maintenance services directly to end users. Members also receive assistance from Ingram with integration projects aimed at linking the Cloud Marketplace with third-party PSA, CRM, and ERP solutions, work that they would otherwise have to do on their own.

Benefits in the know-how bucket include personalized counseling, through both webinars and one-to-one engagements, in areas like demand generation and customer success. Technical support calls from ULTRA members are also immediately escalated to the most senior technician currently on duty.

Perks in the exclusives category include free training vouchers and participation in customized incentive programs aimed at rewarding partners for specific, growth-enhancing behaviors, like performing security assessments for 100% of their clients.

Collectively, ULTRA’s benefits are designed to help partners—especially smaller ones and newcomers to consumption-based, recurring revenue business models—scale and streamline a cloud practice. “It’s a very high level of engagement and includes all the tools that they would otherwise need to look for or even individually purchase, with us or elsewhere,” Gitter says.

Yearly subscriptions to ULTRA, which are sold through the Cloud Marketplace, cost $199 a month. According to Gitter, that’s less than most partners pay at present for training classes and CloudBlue PSA licensing alone.

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