Distributor Ingram Micro Inc. (NYSE: IM) has added three new cloud services to its overall portfolio this week, as part of its strategy to help solution providers capitalize on the in-demand technology.
The new services include N-able Technologies’ N-central remote management and monitoring (RMM) platform and Trend Micro’s Worry-Free Business Security Services for desktop and laptop protection, both available in Canada. Symantec’s Endpoint Protection.cloud (SEP.cloud) is currently only available in the U.S. through Ingram but the offering will be rolled out here by the end of the calendar year, according to Renee Bergeron, vice-president of managed services and cloud computing for Ingram Micro North America.
“Ingram Micro’s traditional business is to distribute hardware and software,” she said. Ingram has been distributing services for the past five years, beginning with managed services. That expanded into cloud offerings in 2007, according to Bergeron. “I think it’s a natural extension for Ingram Micro. We want to continue to be the one stop shop for our resellers,” she said. “It’s a similar value proposition than it has always been.”
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The three newest services were previewed at Ingram’s Cloud Summit in June. “The feedback (from partners) was ‘that’s exactly what we need,’” Bergeron said. “We’ve basically removed the overhead of contracting from the reseller.” Similar to traditional hardware and software sales, purchasing cloud services directly from a vendor can create a contract headache. Going through Ingram makes the whole process easier, she said.
Stacking competing companies against one another isn’t a problem since the solutions are differentiated, she said. “They really are targeted for different groups,” she said. Trend Micro’s service, for example, is better built for a partner who wants to have a more active role in being a cloud provider, while Symantec’s is more for a “cloud broker,” who wants the vendor to take the lead.
The distributor launched its cloud Web site in November 2010, where partners can view and download documents and information they need from Ingram. The site is also host to the Ingram Micro Cloud Marketplace, where partners can view what cloud services are available to them to resell, including solutions from IBM, McAfee and VMware, along with the three new products.
Currently, partners can view offerings on the marketplace and will contact their Ingram sales representative to buy the cloud service. Eventually, everything will be automated online, including provisioning the services to customers, Bergeron said. “That’s basically what we’re going to transform into an e-commerce site.” Ingram’s own sales people will then act more as advisors rather than order-takers.
Ingram will be announcing several more additions to its cloud marketplace later this year.