Ingram Micro Seismic Marches Toward 1,000 Managed Service Providers

Roughly 750 managed service providers now leverage Ingram Micro Seismic, and Ingram hopes Seismic tops the 1,000 MSP mark by the end of this year, according to Justin Crotty, VP of services, North America, Ingram Micro.

I spoke with Crotty this evening during the Seismic Partner Conference here in Chicago. I'll be posting a few more blogs from the conference through Wednesday, Aug. 13. In the meantime, here are four key trends I'm tracking at the conference -- and their implications for managed service providers.

Perhaps more than any other company, Ingram has validated the Master MSP business model -- by offering a range of third-party managed services to partners. As I consider my discussion with Crotty tonight, four key thoughts come to mind:

1. Approaching One Million Managed Devices? First, let's assume each one of the 750 Seismic partners remotely manage a minimum of 100 customer devices. That means the total Seismic initiative blankets more than 75,000 devices. Bump the estimate up to each MSP managing 1,000 customer devices, and Seismic's reach extends to 750,000 customer devices.

Please note: The figures above are purely hypothetical "best estimates" on my part. Crotty declined to say how many devices the Seismic initiative now covers. But he says the overall Seismic partner program continues to grow rapidly, and will likely eclipse 1,000 MSPs by year's end.

2. Dancing With Cisco Systems: Yes, Cisco is here at the Seismic event. When it comes to managed services, Cisco and Ingram seem to be in discovery mode with each other. Say's Crotty, "We're talking to each other and asking how we can work together."

Two suggestions: It's time for Cisco and Ingram to discuss low-end TelePresence and hosted unified communications, and their MSP potential.

3. Where's the Green Ink?: Not all portions of the MSP market have met expectations. One prime example: Crotty hasn't seen a large adoption of managed print services.

Alas, MSPmentor missed the mark on that item. In late 2007 and early 2008, we heavily hyped managed print services -- including Xerox's PagePack service. But even we must admit that the buzz about managed print services has died down in recent months.

4. It's All About Branding: Crotty and several other guest speakers are advising attendees to focus on their own brands and stop hyping vendor brands. Most discussions here at the event are more business-driven rather than technology-driven. Attendees want to know how to build, position and market their corporate brands.

We've written a few pieces about online branding. And we'll offer up some more thoughts in the days ahead.

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