By Gennifer Biggs, security, storage, and managed services editor
Not only was Renee Bergeron, the new Ingram Micro VP of Managed Services and Cloud Computing, on hand at the ConnectWise IT Nation event on Nov. 4-6, she was announcing a formal cloud strategy program from the distributor. (Read full release here.) Bergeron was being introduced at the event by Jason Beal, former director of services for Ingram, who was heavily involved in the Ingram Micro managed services offering. Beal is heading to Brussels, Belgium, in a matter of weeks to take over as senior director of software and services in the Value Division of Ingram Micro's European operations.
Bergeron and Beal explained that the new platform focuses on several points — education, training, vendor support, and Ingram's stamp of approval on cloud services providers that MSPs are being asked to trust with customer data. "Our surveys show that resellers are interested in the cloud. While some see it as opportunity, some see it as a threat, they are all aware of the impact it is going to have on their businesses over the next few years," says Bergeron. Among other services, the new Ingram cloud platform (Visit www.ingrammicrocloud.com.) will aggregate education around selling the cloud. "What our partners are realizing is that selling around the cloud is more about business benefits and value, not speeds and feeds," explains Bergeron. "So our goal is to help our partners get organized to sell cloud services."
Much like Ingram Micro did with managed services — its Seismic offering — Bergeron and Beal say the cloud platform will revolve around community and continuously evolving offerings. "We expect this to be similar to Seismic, very community oriented, very interactive," says Beal. Additionally, Beal explains that just as the Seismic community could take advantage of vetted managed services provider partners through the Ingram Micro Services Network, the distributor expects to do the same with cloud services providers. "We are going to look for best-of-breed cloud providers," says Beal, who cautioned that in today's world of cloud computing, some companies look more stable and more scalable than they really are. "We want to help protect our partners from startups that might not be ready to handle cloud in a reliable way by validating their business before partnering with them."
The bottom line, says Bergeron, is that education is the biggest hurdle to cloud adoption and to MSPs taking advantage of cloud offerings where they fit with customers needs. "The challenge is taking this big nebulous thing called cloud and boiling it down to something manageable," she says.