Ingram Micro is closing in on the ability to offer ISVs the option to enrol themselves in its cloud marketplace, senior vice president for global cloud channel Renée Bergeron told the distributor’s Cloud Summit in Sydney today.
Bergeron said the self-onboarding is “eighty percent” done, with work continuing to automate the process. She admitted that Ingram has previously prioritised larger vendors when picking new offerings for its cloud marketplace, because the cost of on-boarding was non-trivial and it therefore focused on products with strong demand.
Self-service on-boarding, she said, means “Now we can discover national heroes and bring them to market. We can find solutions that work here, in this market, then take them to other markets."
She explained that making it easier for developers to get into the marketplace is an expression of Ingram’s vision of the channel as a fabric of interconnected entities that can add value to each other in many ways.
A nine-year Ingram veteran, Bergeron said that when she first encountered the channel, value moved in one direction from vendor to distributor to partner to end-customer. She’s since come to appreciate partners as innovative problem-solvers that delight their customers by being able to either bring together diverse products to solve problems, or create IP that addresses customer needs.
When that IP hit cloud marketplaces, she said value started flowing from partners that developed IP back to distributors.
Now Bergeron feels that the channel has become a fabric in which partners can consume IP created by other partners and sold through distributors’ cloud marketplaces. Almost any participant in the channel can add value to another.
Ingram is finding new ways to offer more value, too. Bergeron pointed to services it offers partners such as packaged discovery and assessment services, architecture services or solution design skills it can perform on partners’ behalf or make possible by giving partners tools to undertake by themselves. The distie’s global COMET competition, which aims to find innovative ISPs and bring them into its marketplace, is an expression of Ingram’s desire to keep partners informed of up-and-coming products they could use to satisfy clients.
Other Ingram tools help partners to increase their use of automation or acquire new skills to fuel new practices around burgeoning technologies like infrastructure-as-a-service. Bergeron told the Summit that those tools aren’t just good for Ingram: she said successful partners thrive because they understand the value of planning, tools that run their business and stay abreast of new technologies.
Self-serve on-boarding is a part that journey for partners, Bergeron said, because by offering platform, transactional and marketing tools that operate at global scale, it greatly simplifies the work needed to get a product to market.
The net effect, Bergeron said, is that Ingram has a proposition it now calls “More-as-a-service”.