Business at Ingram Micro Cloud is doubling annually. Next, the cloud services brokerage, which offers aggregation services to VARs and MSPs, is planning a large conference in Arizona (April 7-10, 2013). Among the key priorities: Educating partners about cloud services in vertical markets like health care. Plus, Ingram Micro (NYSE: IM) will try to connect the dots between telecom agents and MSPs.
Ingram Micro VP Renee Bergeron, during a sit-down with Talkin' Cloud earlier this month, said the conference will likely attract 900 attendees. Not by coincidence, many of those resellers are sourcing applications from the Ingram Micro Cloud. The Ingram cloud is a single portal that allows partners to find, procure, price, activate and manage applications for customers. I believe it contains about 140 solutions from 45 different vendors.
Bergeron says the Ingram Micro Cloud business "doubled again in 2012" and she has signed up for simular growth expectations in 2013. The top selling solutions (in no particular order) include hosted email, backup and recovery, virtualization and remote infrastructure management solutions. IaaS (infrastructure as a service) is also picking up speed, she added.
"We're seeing resellers win in the cloud and we'll share some of those stories [at the conference," said Bergeron. "And we're seeing very little attrition in the system. It's low single digits."
She's also seeing partners push toward bundles, and Bergeron expects Ingram Micro Cloud to drive deeper with existing vendor partners this year -- rather than announcing a boatload of new partners.
So far, the Ingram Micro Cloud is available in roughly 13 countries, with six more countries planning launches soon.
The Bigger Picture
I think the Ingram Micro Cloud has been online for about two years now. Ingram grabbed the early lead as a cloud aggregator for channel partners -- essentially becoming an online marketplace for managing multiple cloud applications at once.
But over the past year, a growing list of cloud services brokerages has emerged. The brokerages include:
- Aggregators, like Ingram and other distributors, that serve channel partners.
- Telcos and cable companies that offer online cloud stores. An example is Comcast Upware, which is powered by AppDirect.
- Upstarts like SaaSMax, which has developed an online marketplace for VARs.
Translation: Ingram's first-mover advantage is over. But Ingram isn't sitting still. The company's cloud remains in growth mode. And 900 partners and vendors are gearing up for the company's April conference.