Ingram Micro kicked off its Cloud Summit with a general session aimed at describing how the technology distributor plans to continue its expansion as a worldwide cloud services provider.
Ingram Micro Cloud Computing Vice President Renee Bergeron says channel partners need to have access to the entire cloud solution stack.
Ingram Micro (IM) on Tuesday kicked off its Cloud Summit at the Westin Diplomat in Hollywood, Fla. with a general session aimed at describing how the technology distributor plans to continue its expansion into a worldwide cloud services provider.
Comedian Greg Schwem emceed the session, offering his own comical insights on business, technology and the concept of cloud -- but there's nothing funny about what Ingram Micro has planned for its channel partners in Q2.
News summary: Ingram Micro Cloud Computing Vice President Renee Bergeron took center stage to announce additions of cloud-based vendors and solutions to the Ingram Micro Cloud portfolio; showcase new Ingram Micro-hosted cloud solutions and "white glove" services, promote an expansion to its channel programs, and reveal the next-gen Ingram Micro Cloud Marketplace.
Here's a quick recap of what channel partners may have missed at this morning's general session:
Ingram Micro Cloud Computing VP Renee Bergeron (on what's new from Ingram Micro)
- Cloud costs can be overwhelming to channel partners -- These costs are the direct result of a variety of factors, including research; due diligence and proposal; and ordering and provisioning, Bergeron said. She pointed out that these costs add up to more than $86,000.
- She said channel partners need to be able to access the entire cloud solution stack: business applications; communications and collaboration; security; and infrastructure and cloud management services.
- Ingram Micro has added SurePayroll, Charter, Logix, Skykick, 365 Main and Softlayer (which expands its relationship with IBM) to its cloud solution portfolio.
- Ingram Micro's cloud portfolio can assist channel partners with solving every kind of customer problem, Bergeron said.
- The value stack is about building vertical solutions for customers, Bergeron noted. These verticals include dental, legal, retail and education.
- She said channel partners leveraging a cost-plus model in the cloud are leaving money on the table, noting that a value-based model can be more profitable.
- The Ingram Micro Cloud Marketplace will powered by the Parallels platform some in Q2 2014.
- Bergeron said the distributor's marketplace enables channel partners to access a single source for ordering and provisioning, instead of having to go through a variety partner portals.
- "Cloud computing is the gift that keeps on giving," she said.
- On average, Ingram Micro has seen 4.5 percent customer attrition over the past three years, Bergeron noted.
- Ingram Micro announced three white glove services for its resellers: technical sales engineering; migration and on-boarding; and service desk.
- The Ingram Micro Service Desk was designed specifically to assist reseller partners by providing them with another layer of support for customers, Bergeron said.
- Ingram Micro has seen four different cloud strategies for resellers: opportunistic, migrate to hybrid, hybrid, and born in the cloud, she said.
- To fit these strategies, Ingram Micro is launching its new Cloud Channel program, consisting of the Cloud Referral program, Cloud Resale program and Cloud Private Label program.
- She concluded that channel partners can be successful in the cloud by leveraging the right cloud services from the right CSP (breadth and trust); simplfying the right rools (simplify and scale); extending the right skill set and services (customer satisfaction); and empowering the right business model (grow and maximize).
Parallels CEO Birger Steen (on the Parallels and Ingram Micro relationship)
- The cloud services industry needs channel partners: It's nearly impossible for a few corporations to effectively deliver cloud to millions of businesses, he said.
- On the relationship: "We think this is the coming together of two world leaders," he said.
ProTech Systems Group Managed/Cloud Solutions Vice President Chris Bradley (thoughts on business and selling cloud services)
- Bradley said his company changed the way it did things by refining offerings, maximizing margins, developing more marketing campaigns and taking a more consultative approach.
- Focus on discussing cloud services with C-level executives, not owners, Bradley said.
Cisco Worldwide Cloud Sales Operations Director Ellen Berlan (on Cisco and collaboration)
- Berlan said there are five main cloud business drivers: agility; faster time to market; scaling up and scaling down; ease of deployment; and capex/opex.
- She said if you have any doubt about cloud, take a look at what the analysts are saying (e.g., Frost and Sullivan, Forrester, and Gartner).
- Cisco's collaboration strategy focuses on being experience centric, cloud connected and value extended.
- The business value of collboration revolves around productivity, innovation and growth, Berland said.
- There are three categories in Cisco's cloud channel program: cloud builder model, cloud provider model and cloud reseller model.
Travelocity.com founder, Kayak.com chairman Terry Jones (on business and relationships)
- On the ownership of information in today's world: "Information has escaped," he said. "It's found its freedom."
- There are a lot of businesses being short-circuited by newer business, but others are being rewired to understand what's going on in today's world, he said.
- What's changing in today's market?: "It's business models that are changing," he said.
- The speed of innovation is moving a lot faster today than it did the past, Jones noted.
- Relationships and the way businesses deal with customers are changing, he said. "We have to make friends with change," he said.
- Instead of facing their fears, "established organizations view disruption as a threat," Jones explained.
- On failure: "If you don't fail, you're not experimenting enough," he said.
- Jones said channel partners may have to change some people in their organizations as they move toward cloud.
- In order for a business to change and adapt, it needs to be able to consider different perspectives, he said.
- He said one person can change the entire model of a company for the better.
Keep checking back with Talkin' Cloud for further updates from the 2014 Ingram Micro Cloud Summit.