Ingram Micro VP: We Are Top Cloud Aggregator for the Channel
Renee Bergeron (pictured), VP of managed services and cloud computing at Ingram Micro, has a succinct message for channel partners: Ingram, the massive distributor, is the leading cloud aggregator for solutions providers. Bergeron made the statement at Parallels Summit 2011, which attracted roughly 1,300 channel partners, hosting providers, VARs and MSPs this week in Orlando, Fla.
“We are the leading cloud aggregator for the channel,” asserted Bergeron a few minutes ago during her keynote. “It’s a natural position for us, since we’ve always helped to build relationships between vendors, service providers and the channel.”
Bergeron also offered two updates on Ingram’s cloud strategy.
1. Cloud Community: Launched Nov. 8, the Ingram Micro Cloud community has attracted 1,400 registered partners, who have downloaded more than 8,000 documents related to cloud services.
2. Portfolio of Cloud Services: Bergeron said Ingram wants to be a “one-stop-shop” for solutions providers that need a portfolio of cloud services. She pointed to service desk, device management services, and business application services that Ingram offers to partners.
Opportunities and Challenges
No doubt, Ingram has made aggressive cloud computing moves, signing business relationships with Salesforce.com, Rackspace, Amazon.com and other cloud leaders. But plenty of question marks remain. For instance, I doubt Ingram can make a living sending channel partner leads to Salesforce, Rackspace and other SaaS and cloud providers. Also, Ingram rivals like Tech Data and Synnex apparently are attending Parallels Summit, too, quietly discussing cloud strategies with a range of potential partners, TalkinCloud has heard.
But Ingram certainly does have some revenue producing relationships with a range of cloud specialists that offer email security, hosted Exchange and more. And Bergeron is on the road constantly, educating partners about cloud opportunities.
Most of Bergeron’s presentation focused on who VARs and MSPs should sell to in the cloud market. She noted that CIOs control only about 30 percent of cloud buying decisions. IT departments (27 percent), senior executive committees (25%), business unit heads (15 percent) and unknown folks (5 percent) represent the rest, according to a Sand Hill Group survey quoted by Bergeron.
And while the enterprise cloud hype has grown loud, Bergeron reinforced other presentations at Parallels Summit, telling attendees to focus on the SMB market. She said the U.S. has 5.4 million companies with 1 to 19 employees, and more than 500,000 businesses with 20 to 99 employees.
It’s a safe bet Bergeron will reinforce those messages in June 2011, when Ingram is expected to host its second-annual cloud computing summit. It sounds like the Ingram Micro Cloud Summit will be June 1-3 in Arizona, according to off-stage chatter here at Parallels Summit.