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Ingram Micro cloud services unit unifies business globally; more news

Ingram Micro forms a cloud services group to unite the company's cloud-related efforts globally; Tech Data releases Cisco contract renewal portal.

Ingram Micro cloud services group goes global

Just a few days ahead of Ingram Micro Cloud Summit, being held April 7-9 in Hollywood, Fla., the distributor announced that it is forming a global cloud business unit, led by Nimesh Dave, executive vice president of global cloud computing for the company.

The new Ingram Micro cloud services unit will pull together all the cloud business that Ingram Micro currently does in North America and 13 countries outside of North America. According to Ingram Micro, the cloud business lends itself to leveraging investments -- in people, processes and platform -- on a global basis.

The acquisition of SoftCom Inc., a Canadian cloud services provider, in September 2013 will support Ingram Micro's endeavor to scale its cloud services globally.

Tech Data delivers portal to ease Cisco contract renewals

Designed to help solution providers maximize recurring revenue on service contract renewals of Cisco products, Tech Data Corp. introduced the SMARTattach Opportunity Portal.

Available as part of the distributor's Momentum program – which is designed to help resellers expand and accelerate their Cisco services practice -- the new portal is offered to resellers through Tech Data's Advanced Infrastructure Solutions (AIS) division.

The new portal is powered by MaintenanceNet Inc., a provider of service annuity solutions. The platform acts as a Cisco product and service inventory management tool with an auto-generated quoting system for warranty extensions.

Samsung announced new global channel program

This week, Samsung Electronics America Inc. announced an enhanced partner program, called Samsung Team of Empowered Partners (STEP), that will be rolled out to U.S. partners in phases.

Although a global initiative, Platinum partners within the company's U.S. partner base will be the first to transition to the new program, an initiative of the vendor's Enterprise Business Division. The program consists of four tiers that define different levels of support and assistance -- sales enablement, marketing, technical support and training -- based on partner type and sales volume, according to the company.

Samsung is also introducing a new online partner portal for access to sales data, tools and resources.

Ixia announces partner program

Ixia, a provider of network visibility, security and test solutions, this week announced Channel Xcelerate, the first phase of its new integrated global partner program.

According to the company, this phase encompasses all of Ixia's current worldwide base of partners as well as partners of Net Optics Inc., which was recently acquired by Ixia.

As part of the new program, Ixia is increasing its focus on field engagement to help partners win more deals and adding training, support and financial incentives.

Lori Cornmesser has also been appointed to the vice president of global channel sales post at Ixia.

Belkin consolidates Belkin, Linksys partner programs

PartnerAdvantage, a new channel program that consolidates the former Belkin and Linksys partner programs into one, was announced this week by Belkin International, a manufacturer of Belkin- and Linksys-branded business solutions.

The new consolidated program offers channel partners – including Authorized Partner Basic, Authorized Partner Elite, Silver, Gold and Platinum members -- pre- and post-sales support, on-site training, and participation in the PartnerAdvantage Partner Council, depending on their tier and benefit level.

The program targets partners that sell the vendor's infrastructure, office and mobile solutions portfolio to their small and midsize customers in the business, government and education sectors.

Belkin acquired Linksys in March 2013.

IntelePeer launches new partner program

IntelePeer, a provider of on-demand, cloud-based unified communications services, this week launched its Cloud Advantage Partner Program.

The new program features a three-tier partner structure, Silver, Gold and Platinum; market development funds; training and support tools; support assistance in regional territories; new customer and partner portals for self-service; and partner advocacy initiatives, according to the company.

IntelePeer said that it will also soon launch a Masterstream self-quoting platform for partners.

The vendor is offering what it calls the “xFactor” promotion through June 30; the program pays partners one, two or three times the monthly recurring revenue based on the term of a customer agreement.

CompTIA offers new Business Agility Certificate

This week, CompTIA announced the Executive Certificate in Business Agility, a program to help channel companies understand and adapt to business change, according to the nonprofit association for the IT industry.

The new training is the latest addition to CompTIA's Channel Training Catalog for Spring 2014 and was announced at the organization's annual member meeting.

The organization also announced three new workshops. The Cloud-based Telephony Playbook Workshop looks at how cloud computing is broadening the accessibility of VoIP services. The Advanced Communications Playbook Workshop covers opportunities delivering video conferencing, cloud applications, unified communications and collaboration. And the Mobile Device Management Playbook Workshop covers how solution providers can help customers deploy mobile apps and technologies to manage a wide range of devices.

CompTIA also released a Quick Start Guide and Quick Start Session on Profitable Partnering.

Windsteam issues channel pricing tool

Channel partners of Windstream Communications, a provider of advanced network communications, can now access the vendor's new pricing tool for more efficient direct pricing quotes, according to the company.

The mobile-friendly application can be used on a tablet or smartphone and is designed to accelerate the quoting process and enable partners to close deals on the spot.

For partners that have their own quoting interface, the Windstream pricing tool is also available via an API.

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