Channel partner events, Channel partner programs, CSPs, IT distribution, Midmarket, MSP, Telecom cloud

Ingram Micro Cloud Summit 2016: The Preview

Jason Bystrak
Jason Bystrak

What should VARs, MSPs and CSPs expect at Ingram Micro Cloud Summit 2016 in April?  Instead of a classic "jump to the cloud" conversation, the distribution giant will focus on some bread-and-butter themes to help partners home in (yup, not hone in) on some overlooked opportunities.

Chief among them:

  • Growing seat counts: Ingram is seeing cloud deal sizes grow rapidly -- in terns of seat counts, partner sizes and midmarket expansion.
  • Hybrid cloud balancing acts: When Ingram Micro first launched its cloud business several years ago, most of the focus was on pure managed and cloud services. Now, the conversation will shift to monetizing a blend of on-premises and cloud services.
  • Managed and professional services: Beyond the SaaS reselling discussion, many partners are making 50 percent margins or more on migration services and professional services. (Side note: check out this top 20 list of the most successful professional services firms; many are cloud-centric.)
  • Platform control: Ingram now owns Odin, the underlying cloud management platform acquired from Parallels last year. That means Ingram controls the R&D road map -- and will be rolling out cloud features/functions faster for partners.
  • Evolving Ecosystem: Many telcos, cloud services providers and hosting providers have also deployed Odin. That means Ingram can connect the dots between its existing partner base and the Odin ecosystem.

Talent and R&D

Those sound bites emerged during a ChannelE2E call this morning with Jason Bystrak, executive director, The Americas, Ingram Micro Cloud. Bystrak expects more than 1,000 channel partners to attend the conference.

But here's the more important figure for partners: Bystrak was employee No. 17 in Ingram's cloud business several years ago. Today, that organization has 1,500 associates worldwide -- and many of them are in R&D, programming and technical development. In other words, Ingram Micro Cloud is more than a marketing pitch. It has basically incubated many of the next-generation cloud services that channel partners now take for granted.

Those services will be on display in April.

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.