“The cloud represents an addressable market worth $103 billion,” stated Renée Bergeron, Ingram Micro’s senior vice president, global cloud channel, at this year's Ingram Micro ONE event in Las Vegas. “And the good news is that 55 percent of that opportunity is going through the channel.”
She also shared that channel partners who move to the cloud are more profitable (1.5x), grow faster (2x), build higher business valuations (10x to 20x) and experience higher customer retention rates than those who don’t make the move. “But, it does come with challenges,” she added. “You have to select the best cloud partner among thousands of choices, and you may not have all the cloud expertise within your team, which will require training and recruiting. Also, you’ll need to change to a new business annuity model where you market differently, sell differently, deploy differently and support and invoice your customers differently.”
Staying on top of security, privacy, and data residency laws is another challenge IT solution providers must keep top of mind when moving to the cloud, Bergeron said, adding, “And, finally, you will need to deliver value to your customers in a new way.”
3 Ways Ingram Micro Helps You Grow Your Cloud Business
Bergeron outlined three ways that Ingram Micro can help channel partners grow their cloud businesses:
- Comprehensive Services Catalog. Ingram Micro offers the largest cloud solutions catalog of any cloud platform.
- Flexible Cloud Platforms. Ingram Micro has more than 500 cloud providers and ISVs that have developed APIs (application program interfaces) to connect to its platform, which is based on the Odin published standard.
- Business Transformation. Ingram Micro offers channel-enabled sales, marketing and technical training programs (e.g., Ingram Micro Cloud University) to help shorten the transition to selling cloud.
One of the biggest differentiators Ingram Micro offers partners that its competitors don’t, said Bergeron, is a choice. “We’ve invested in bringing six cloud platforms to market,” she said. “Three of those platforms—Odin Essentials, Odin Premium and Ensim—are offered as software that partners can license and manage on premise.”
Odin Essentials, for example, is a comprehensive, downloadable cloud services automation solution that empowers cloud providers to provision, manage and sell both cloud and self-hosted services through a single platform. With OA Essentials, partners can market, sell and bundle Microsoft Office 365 and other CSP (Cloud Solution Provider) services with their existing products while maintaining full control of the cloud services delivery, from integration with existing provisioning systems to deploying custom domain and payment plugin options.
Bergeron also explained how the Ingram Micro Cloud Marketplace is the cornerstone of Ingram Micro’s three cloud platforms. A gateway to selling cloud services for more than 33,000 partners in 21 countries, the Cloud Marketplace supports 10 million seats and is experiencing 1,800-percent year-over-year growth.
Ingram Micro’s three platforms, which includes the Ingram Micro Cloud Referral Program, Cloud Marketplace and Cloud Store, are operated by Ingram Micro and sold by partners via a software-as-a-service model. The Ingram Micro Cloud Store is a white-labeled version of the Cloud Marketplace that directly connects to a partner’s existing website, allowing the partner to sell cloud services available on the Ingram Micro Cloud Marketplace. The customizable e-storefront provides channel partners with the flexibility and control to manage their entire business through a single online portal.
“The Ingram Micro cloud platforms allow you to manage your whole cloud business from order to invoice and management—all in real time,” said Bergeron. “You’ll also find bundled solutions on our Cloud Marketplace that will allow you to solve business problems in healthcare, legal and other vertical markets. This is one more way to help you shorten your sales cycle.”