By Gennifer Biggs, security, storage, and managed services editor
During the opening session of the Ingram Micro second annual Cloud Summit, held June 1 to 2 in Phoenix, Renee Bergeron, VP of managed services and cloud computing for Ingram Micro, delivered a strong message about the opportunity around cloud. "The focus of this summit is monetizing the cloud," she stressed. "We are here to share strategies with you about using the cloud to grow your business and your profits." While last year was spent philosophizing about the cloud, its impact, its future, and more, 2011 is clearly about what to do with the cloud to improve your VAR or MSP business. The Ingram Micro Cloud Summit carried that attitude forward with gusto. "If some of you are still thinking cloud is a novelty, look at this gathering," challenged Bergeron. "We have nearly 300 resellers and another 200 guests keyed in on the world of cloud computing." Also hearing the message of the summit are nearly 1,000 Ingram Micro partners from 11 countries that watched the opening session via live streaming video.
In addition to announcing eight new cloud services partners (I'll get there in a minute), Bergeron touched on her popular analogy of on-premises IT as similar to owning your own home; managed IT services as similar to owning a condo; and cloud as similar to staying in a hotel room. "You can get what you need, when you need it, where you need, and when you're done with it, it remains there for the next person who might need that space," explains Bergeron. She also reiterated the Ingram Micro message about the value of the cloud: agility (instant access, scalability); utility (pay as you go); and ubiquity (ability to access anything, everywhere).
The big news, however, was how Ingram Micro was going to meet its self-stated cloud strategy of serving as the channel's leading cloud aggregator by establishing a cloud community, provide cloud business services , and offering a comprehensive portfolio of cloud services. Having launched its cloud-focused website last fall to tackle one element of that strategy early on — community —Ingram Micro told its partners to expect that tool to evolve into a business services tool. The website, by Q4, will become a partner portal through which all the Ingram Micro cloud services (I really will get there soon) will be available and deployable through a simple "shopping cart" experience.
While those current offerings already include partnerships with VaultLogix, NetEnrich, Rackspace, Microsoft, CA, Intermedia, groupSPARK, McAfee, Alertlogic, Nimsoft, Citrix, Autotask, Level Platforms, SonicWALL, IBM, and Fujitsu, Bergeron adding eight new names to the list as of today. Ingram Micro announced partnerships with VMware, BMC Software, N-able, Seimens, SherWeb, Symantec , Cisco, and Trend Micro. (Read more about these partnerships) "We are still working on even more offerings, all part of our goal of providing well-vetted vendor solutions that meet your customers' business needs," explained Bergeron.