Synnex, the IT distributor, has officially launched CLOUDSolv, a cloud services automation platform that was first discussed in April 2011. Synnex CLOUDSolv surfaces amid potential distributor competition with Ingram Micro Cloud and Tech Data TDCloud. However, Synnex is trying to distance itself from rival distributors -- specifically stating that CLOUDSolv is more than a cloud aggregator service for VARs and MSPs.
This is a critical time for IT distributors, which have made a healthy living providing hardware -- including small business and departmental servers -- to resellers. But as some customers shift from on-premise servers to cloud applications, distributors are striving to reinvent their own business models. One potential option: Providing cloud portals that allow VARs and MSPs to source and manage a range of SaaS applications for customers.
Synnex first started discussing CLOUDSolv back in April 2011. For the official launch today, Synnex President Kevin Murai offered this prepared statement:
“As a key component of our cloud strategy, SYNNEX is delivering on our commitment to provide our reseller customers with a platform to sell, provision and manage their “as-a-service” business. CLOUDSolv is much more than just services aggregation; we are working with cloud ecosystem partners to help enable the reality of cloud computing."
Similar But Different?
Read that previous paragraph again; you'll discover that it's a carefully worded attempt to distance Synnex from Ingram Micro Cloud. For most of 2011, Ingram Micro VP of Cloud and Managed Services Renee Bergeron has described Ingram Micro Cloud as the distribution industry's top cloud aggregation service.
Ingram is expected to take many of the aggregation capabilities live by the end of 2011, allowing VARs and MSPs to manage provisioning, pricing and billing for cloud services through Ingram. (Synnex described similar features for CLOUDSolv.)
Also of note, Tech Data has been building the StreamOne Solutions Store, a cloud app store for VARs and MSPs. Part of Tech Data's broader TDCloud strategy, I believe the StreamOne Solutions Store was scheduled to launch any day now; I'm checking in with Tech Data for an update.
Back at Synnex, the distributor says CLOUDSolv allows resellers and ISVs to market and sell cloud services both individually and as bundled solutions. Initial cloud services include Microsoft Exchange, SharePoint, an open source email solution that CLOUDSolv did not mention by name, as well as cloud back-up and security options. Synnex says resellers can use CLOUDSolv to create their own app marketplaces for end-customers.
Of course, distributors such as Avnet Technology Solutions and Arrow ECS also have cloud strategies. We're reaching out to each of the major distributors to get a status update on those efforts.