eGroup: Partner Perspective from Ingram Micro Cloud Summit X
There was a diverse group of partners represented at Ingram Micro Cloud Summit X, held last week in San Diego. The one thing that all have in common — cloud. Cloud fits somewhere in most of their businesses; the question is, where? Where along Ingram Micro’s “Cloud Awesomeness Roadmap” are these partners?
Channel Futures talked to several partners to find out more about their cloud practices. Here’s a look at one — eGroup.
Twenty-year old Charleston, South Carolina-based eGroup, was one of three U.S.-based partners that picked up this year’s Ingram Micro Cloud partner award in the depth category; the distributor defines depth partners as those that sell 10 or more cloud offers, with complexity of the solutions they take to market being a differentiator. This includes infrastructure as a service (IaaS). The other two honorees were GreenPages and Interworks.
Clearly, the company wasn’t born in the cloud, but it ascended and did it with honors; in fact, eGroup went through several iterations of growth to get where they are today, beginning with pulling itself up by the bootstraps.
“It started with smart people doing projects, hiring your first person, then another and so on,” said Jason Webster, principal, mid-Atlantic practice at eGroup. When he joined eGroup in 2008, there were nine people. At that time, eGroup was focused on the data center — storage, network and compute solutions.
“Solutions with Citrix and obviously, Microsoft, the work was very project-based,” he said.
eGroup customers were in financial services, law firms and other industry verticals.
Webster describes eGroup’s history in three phases. The early phase was when the company focused on physical servers, storage and other capabilities that required consulting services, people getting paid for what they know and being able to execute on a large variety of problems.
Then came virtualization.
“We were an early VMware partner which led us to different vendors such as Cisco, EMC and other network and storage manufacturers required to build our virtualization-based solutions in the data center. That required helping people do P to V, or physical to virtual,” he said.
When Webster joined the company, eGroup had just formally launched an application practice that focused on Microsoft and supporting enterprise applications, such as SharePoint and Exchange, web apps, SQL databases, management systems — all of the things to help the data center operate smoothly and deliver information to end users.
This phase prepared eGroup for where things are today.
“We saw the future, which is software-defined everything,” he said. “We were able to blend applications expertise with data center know-how, which is exactly what the cloud is all about.”
Today, eGroup is a depth partner within the Azure skill set, responding to an increasing number of business leaders who view IT in terms of business value, productivity and resiliency rather than storage or servers.
eGroup is on pace to do about $6 million in Azure influence or direct sales this year. From a product standpoint, Azure makes up about 20 percent of the partner’s revenue, Webster says. The company pairs what it believes is the best public cloud with …