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Ingram Micro Cloud Summit: 10 Things You Missed

ChannelE2E spent Tuesday at Ingram Micro Cloud Summit 2018 in Boca Raton, Florida. What did we see, hear, learn... and observe? Glad you asked. Here are 11 highlights for partners...

10. Ingram and IoT: Stay tuned for Ingram to launch and end-to-end Internet of Things marketplace sometime this summer, according to multiple Ingram executives...

IBM’s Bob Lord
IBM's Bob Lord

9. Ingram and IBM Cloud: IBM Chief Digital Officer Bob Lord says the IBM Cloud will be available in a matter of months via the Ingram Micro Marketplace. The move comes after IBM bolstered its MSP relationships during the recent IBM Think 2018 conference in Las Vegas...

8. Distribution: Ingram Micro has expanded its distribution agreement with hyperconverged solution provider  Scale Computing to include the United States. I concede: I don't think the announcement surfaced here, but it still surfaced on my radar this morning.

7. Ingram Results: Ingram Micro's worldwide 2018 first quarter sales were $11.76 billion, up of 13 percent in USD, with gross margin of 6.33 percent. This compares to sales of $10.40 billion and gross margin of 6.33 percent in the 2017 first quarter, the company says.

VMware’s Sanjay Poonen

6. Software Defined Data Centers: Sanjay Poonen, chief operating officer for VMware's Customer Operations, made a compelling case for software-defined everything. He pointed to the company's NSX revenue run rate, which I think now exceeds $1.4 billion annual. On a related note, VMware has unveiled its vision for the future of networking, and unveiled the Virtual Cloud Network. The Virtual Cloud Network, VMware claims, will enable organizations to create a digital business fabric for connecting and securing applications, data, and users across the entire network in a hyper-distributed world. Read between the lines, and it's basically VMware's latest counter to Cisco. 

5. Distribution: AvePoint Online Services for Partners, a package of digital transformation solutions, is now available via Ingram Micro Cloud Marketplace.

Jason Bystrak, D&H Distributing
eFolder CRO Jeff Cummings

4. Data Protection: eFolder is rekindling its Ingram relationship here at the conference. As you'll recall, eFolder acquired Axcient last year. And Axcient had a distribution relationship with Ingram ahead of the M&A deal. Still, the engagement was mostly in limbo because Axcient had taken some of its business direct a couple of years ago. Fast forward to present day, and there are signs of an eFolder/Axcient renaissance here. Among those meeting with partners: eFolder Chief Revenue Officer Jeff Cummings and VP Jason Bystrak. We'll share more details soon -- including the key KPIs that now keep eFolder aligned with partners...

Nimesh Dave, president, Ingram Micro Cloud

3. All VARs Become ISVs?: Ingram Global Cloud Executive VP Nimesh Dave suggests that all VARs will ultimately have their own intellectual property, and could increasingly resemble ISVs. It's somewhat similar to Marc Andreessen's famed assertion that software is eating the world. No doubt, Nimesh is a sharp guy, and Ingram Cloud has serious momentum. But I'll respectfully disagree with his VAR-to-ISV and "everyone is a software company" assessment. I suspect fewer than 5 percent of VARs will ever have their own intellectual property. And even fewer will actually monetize that intellectual property in a big way, I suspect. Still, I do believe VARs that succeed with their own IP will have far higher valuations than traditional resellers...

Ingram SVP Renee Bergeron

2. Self Service Becomes Ubiquitous?: Ingram Micro SVP Global Cloud Renee Bergeron outlined how channel partners need to move across the four stages of cloud services to maximize annual recurring revenues. The fourth stage, by the way, involves partners rolling out self-service capabilities for customers to more easily consume IT services. Some critics are pushing back against Bergeron on that point, suggesting that every SaaS, PaaS and IaaS service doesn't necessarily need to be come a self-service opportunity. My opinion? I'll side with The 2112 Group, which recently described The Amazon Effect and the growing automation of digital sales... Read between the lines, and partners will increasingly need an answer for self-service.

IngramCEO Alain Monie

1. Leadership and Vision: Ingram Micro sees plenty of opportunity for the distributor to further expand its cloud services, e-commerce enablement, advanced solutions and geographic reach, CEO Alain Monié tells ChannelE2E. We'll share more thoughts from that conversation soon...

Bonus - What Else?: Got a story to share from Ingram Micro Cloud Summit 2018? Feel free to email me: [email protected].

Joe Panettieri

Joe Panettieri is co-founder & editorial director of MSSP Alert and ChannelE2E, the two leading news & analysis sites for managed service providers in the cybersecurity market.