Channel partner events, Channel partner programs

Ingram CEO: Where We’ll Be In Five Years

Ingram Micro now has 800 people working on its cloud initiatives, and nearly half of them are developers, according to CEO Alain Monié. But that's not all.

Over the next five years, Ingram Micro will increasingly enable e-commerce for partners. Third, Ingram will continue to invest heavily in mobile -- including repair services, insurance services and more.

Monié also described how Ingram's cloud will increasingly support vertical market solutions for health care, real estate and more. "The solutions will become almost a mini-ERP for each industry." Ingram will have about $200 million of cloud business this year, he said. And it has been growing at more than 100 percent annually.

On the Internet of Things front, Monié said a lot of the IoT wave involves existing network connections and new ways IP links will come to small business. And yes, Ingram is making investments to help Ingram's partners engage SMBs on the IoT front, though details weren't shared on-stage.

Talent, Talent, Talent

Monié called on partners to hire the best, focused on core areas of expertise and invest back in the business. "How do you attract good cloud people when you're not a cloud story? Make sure you're able to describe your company's story in a unique way."

Keep checking this live blog for more details as they happen at the Ingram Micro ONE conference in Tennessee. Paul Bay, EVP and Chief Executive, Ingram Micro U.S. and Miami Export, also is involved in the live Q&A.

Ingram's Leadership Team

The following Ingram team leaders are about to hit the stage:

  • Paul Bay, EVP and Chief Executive, Ingram Micro U.S. and Miami Export
  • Kirk Robinson, Sr. VP, Commercial Markets & Global Sales
  • Tim Ament, Sr. VP, Advanced Solutions
  • Renée Bergeron, VP, Global Cloud Computing

Bay's key points are wrapped around learn, innovate and growth -- for partners. Customers reach out to Ingram 1.4 million times annually for a status update on an order. Actually, it's 8.4 million times -- as inquiries move from partners to Ingram and vendors, he added. Bay promised continued automation to simplify that process. And he pointed to a growing list of certified experts in the company to assist partners.

The Partner of the Future

Bay pointed to IDC research. Future partners need a business management dashboard, and they need to be business advisors rather than technology sellers. Also, a CompTIA research report suggesting that 48 percent of partner revenues come from consulting services and professional services. "It's about you being at the front-end of the bus for your customers," Bay said.

Next up: Kirk Robinson, Sr. VP, Commercial Markets & Global Sales

Robinson described the evolving vendor landscape, and the resulting complexity of choices for partners. He pointed to:

  • At Dell World, a range of rivals also partnered even as Dell was buying EMC and VMware. For instance, HP's Aruba business was at the conference. As was Samsung's hardware business.
  • Separately, Robinson mentioned how Apple is partnering with IBM and Cisco on the enterprise front.
  • He also pointed to Google promoting Chromebooks into education. "I don't think any of us think Google will stop with the Chromebook," he said. And yes, he mentioned Amazon's cloud growth, too.

How can a channel partner navigate the complexity? "Everyone relax and take a deep breath," Robinson said. "For 37 years, there has been one company that has your back. That's Ingram Micro."

Next Up: Tim Ament, Sr. VP, Advanced Solutions

Ament opened his presentation with news recaps of the Sony and Target hacks -- and the U.S. blaming China for a massive hack attack. But it's not just enterprise: One in 5 SMB customers have a security breach, he noted.

The Sony hack involved a $40 million loss -- plus all that public embarrassment, Ingram noted. In the enterprise, you run the risk of getting fired or being fined for a hack. In small business, you run the risk of going out of business, Ingram added.

The risks now involve:

  • the proliferation of devices and WiFi;
  • complexity of overall infrastructure; and
  • there aren't enough security professionals in the market.

To address those risks, Ingram said it offers a range of solutions, services and partner training.

Next Up: Renée Bergeron, VP, Global Cloud Computing

She focused on the top 10 reasons partners shorten their sales cycles using Ingram Micro Cloud...

No. 5:  It starts with Ingram Micro Cloud marketplace. More than 12,000 resellers are in the marketplace. The company wants to have 20,000 by December 2016. More than 130,000 seats are on the cloud marketplace, up 31 percent month over month -- including recent additions of Acronis and Dropbox. "It's the single way to manage your cloud business."

Arterian, for instance, has a cloud store

No. 4: The Cloud Partner Enablement Programs: More than 700 associates are dedicated to cloud. More than 200 cloud solutions from 56 vendor partners are in the system. Also, there's 24x7 technical support for the cloud marketplace.

No. 3: The Cloud Channel Programs: There are different programs designed to fit different types of partners, she asserted. There's a resale partner program. Some partners don't want to manage end-customer billing -- and that will involve the new referral channel program in January.

No. 2: Ingram Micro Cloud Elevate: It's a program that rewards partners -- with more components coming in January 2016.

No. 1: The Cloud Ecosystem Overall: She realizes partners can work directly with any CSP or with another distributor to transact business. But there's only one partner that brings the cloud marketplace ecosystem and support to partners, she asserts, pointing to Ingram. "It's not just about a transaction that's like a cloud SKU. Our approach starts with one simple question: What is the business problem you're trying to solve for a customer?"

Side note: Ingram Micro Cloud Summit is set for April 11-13, 2016 in Phoenix.

What were items six through 10? It's a mystery because of time issues... Stay tuned for more updates.

Wrap Up: VP Jennifer Baier Anaya

Anaya pointed back to Jim Collins' keynote and asked attendees: What is your 20-mile march -- and who will be on the bus? And she asked partners to focus on three action items -- three things -- they need to pursue at the conference...

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.