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Cloud delivery: Ingram Micro launches platforms for channel

Taking advantage of its purchase of Odin Service Automation, distributor Ingram Micro has launched cloud delivery platforms geared toward channel partners.

Ingram Micro's acquisition of Parallels' Odin Service Automation platform, made public in December 2015, has come full circle. At Ingram Micro Cloud Summit, being held April 11 to 13 in Phoenix, Ariz., the distributor announced new cloud delivery platforms that resulted from the integration of the Odin Service Automation platform into Ingram Micro's cloud strategy.

The new cloud delivery platforms are designed to help partners transact cloud business. They are: the Ingram Micro Cloud Store, Odin Automation (OA) Essentials, and the Ingram Micro Cloud Referral Program. These platforms are offered in conjunction with the Ingram Micro Cloud Marketplace as part of the Ingram Micro Cloud Ecosystem.

"What we're doing is extending our cloud platform story to make it easier for our channel partners to build out their cloud services business," said Jason Bystrak, executive director for the Americas at Ingram Micro Cloud.

The Ingram Micro Cloud Store is a customizable e-storefront that can be branded by a partner, such as an IT service provider or managed service provider (MSP), attached to their website and offered to the customer. It enables partners to monetize, market and manage the sale of cloud services online.

With a partner-branded e-storefront, partners can offer customers any Ingram Micro Cloud Marketplace offering in their catalog and also bundle their own professional and managed services.

"This is fully hosted by Ingram and the back end of the e-storefront is the same as the cloud marketplace with all the integration that goes with it," Bystrak said. Partners using Ingram Micro's Cloud Marketplace can purchase, provision, manage and invoice their customer's cloud offering.

What we're doing is extending our cloud platform story to make it easier for our channel partners to build out their cloud services business.
Jason Bystrakexecutive director for the Americas, Ingram Micro Cloud

OA Essentials is cloud services automation software that a partner hosts on its own infrastructure or public cloud provider and is optimized for Microsoft Office 365. It's also suitable for partners who host their own offerings. OA Essentials offers these cloud providers the ability to provision, manage and sell both cloud and self-hosted services via a single cloud delivery platform, according to Ingram Micro.

Finally, Ingram Micro launched a Cloud Referral Program for partners who aren't interested in the implementation, service delivery and invoicing of cloud offerings. "Think of someone in consulting or a telco selling something complementary to cloud. They don't have the skills or want to invest in the skills to sell cloud ... so that's where we step in and do the fulfillment," Bystrak said. The partner makes a referral and Ingram Micro does the work on behalf of the partner and pays them a referral commission.

Ingram Micro also announced a consolidated invoicing option through the Ingram Micro Cloud Marketplace, as part of ongoing functionality enhancements. This feature combines all vendor services and solutions that a partner purchases for customers through the marketplace into a single monthly consolidated invoice. Consolidated invoicing helps partners reconcile their books and also helps their customers manage their subscription costs.

The distributor also deepened its vertical market offerings in the marketplace by offering pre-integrated, predesigned offerings for the healthcare industry and also for the small and medium-sized business market.

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