Ingram Micro Launching Cloud Billing System for VARs in Q4
Imagine the following scenario: As a VAR or MSP, you’re able to log into a distributor’s cloud dashboard, procure multiple third-party SaaS applications, set end-customer pricing, and bill customers using your own brand. That’s the vision for Ingram Micro‘s new Cloud Marketplace, which the distributor unveiled today. Ingram plans to enhance the marketplace and procurement system over the next few months, with a complete billing system expected in Q4 2011.
If the Cloud Marketplace works as advertised, I think it will be among the first such systems built by a distributor. But I have to spend more time reaching out to third-party distributors to see if they plan to build similar systems.
“We started a managed services voyage five years ago and have really plowed forward into the cloud,” said Ingram Micro CEO Greg Spierkel during the Ingram Micro Cloud Summit in Phoenix today. “We’re losing money on this to be perfectly honest to start.”
Still, Ingram seems upbeat about its long-term cloud aggregator strategy. The idea is for the Ingram Micro Cloud Marketplace to offer dozens of third-party SaaS applications to VARs and MSPs.
During a panel Q&A this afternoon, Ingram Micro VP of Managed Services and Cloud Computing Renee Bergeron further described the cloud procurement system, reiterating the design goal to allow VARs and MSPs to source SaaS applications, set end-customer pricing and bill customers using their own corporate brands. Also, a later release will integrate the procurement system with Autotask and other PSA software tools, Bergeron said.