IT and Business Insights for SMB Solution Providers

Ingram Micro Making People and Tool Investments in its Cloud Business

The distribution heavyweight is hiring hundreds of specialists and enhancing its online marketplace in a bid to help partners capitalize on surging cloud demand, according to global cloud channel sales leader Victor Baez (pictured). By Rich Freeman

Ingram Micro’s cloud business is staffing up its customer success and professional services teams to help partners capitalize on exploding adoption of online applications and infrastructure spurred by the coronavirus pandemic.

“Some companies are seeing 10x growth in their cloud subscriptions,” says Victor Baez, the distributor’s vice president of global cloud channel sales. “Their challenge right now is how do they actually manage that? How do they actually manage the customer lifecycle and drive the right level of adoption so that the customer is happy with what they’re purchasing?”

To help partners meet that challenge, Baez is hiring “hundreds” of customer success managers worldwide to deliver proactive one-to-one consultation on strategies for adding subscribers, onboarding them, and improving their satisfaction.

“We are turbocharging our customer success organization globally,” Baez says.

Ingram is also actively hiring infrastructure-as-a-service experts to help partners identify on-premises workloads suitable for migration into public IaaS platforms like Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure, complete the migration process successfully, and then configure their deployments efficiently.

Additional freshly hired specialists will equip Ingram’s cybersecurity professional services organization to help partners find and mitigate end user vulnerabilities. 

“Security is critical, but it’s also very complex,” Baez observes. “With the recent very big shift to work from home, all the environments have become a lot more vulnerable to attack.”

Assistance from Ingram’s growing team of cloud and security advisors will be available to all of the company’s partners. Resellers generating heavy subscription volumes or pursuing large deals will get priority access.

Also in development and set to roll out gradually throughout 2021 are enhancements to Ingram’s cloud marketplace and self-serve management tools. The forthcoming upgrades will offer help across the customer lifecycle with tasks like with subscription management, cost optimization, cross-selling, up-selling, and more. 

“As it becomes more of a multi-cloud environment, there’s more complexity,” Baez observes.

A representative example of updates currently in the works arrived last month, he adds, when Ingram introduced new tools for sizing and procuring Microsoft Azure Reserved Instances, which allow users to save up to 80% on virtual machines by purchasing capacity in advance. Future upgrades will help partners give direct marketplace access to their clients.

“The number one request that our partners are asking is to extend our marketplace to their customers,” Baez says. “We have a light version already available in the marketplace, and we’re going to keep enhancing that.”

Ingram is investing in its cloud business amid a surge in end user demand for work-from-anywhere solutions that’s projected to increase global spending on cloud software, hardware, and services at a 15.7% CAGR through 2024 to more than $1 trillion, according to IDC.

Leading public cloud operators are posting even more impressive numbers. Earlier this week, market leader Amazon Web Services reported a 28% year-over-year net sales increase in its most recent fiscal quarter to $12.7 billion, and Google reported an over 46% year-over-year quarterly cloud revenue spike to more than $3.8 billion. Last week, furthermore, Microsoft’s disclosed results for a second fiscal quarter in which Office 365 commercial revenue grew 21% and Azure revenue climbed 50%.

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