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Ingram Micro Cloud Partners, What’s Your 'Awesomeness?'

At Cloud Summit 2018, Ingram Micro's Renee Bergeron introduces partners to the Cloud Awesomeness Roadmap and asks for an honest assessment of where they are with their cloud practices.

Lynn Haber

May 1, 2018

5 Min Read

INGRAM MICRO CLOUD SUMMIT — If you’re not asking what more you can do with cloud services in your business, if you’re not taking the time to anticipate the needs of your customers, and if you don’t understand the infinite possibilities of the cloud, you should be worried.

That’s how Renee Bergeron, senior vice president, global cloud channel at Ingram Micro, woke up attendees – about 1,400 of them – attending the Tuesday morning keynote at Ingram Micro Cloud Summit in Boca Raton, Florida. Why? Because cloud is the one technology that is changing everything. Ingram wants its partners to take an unfair share of the $250 billion cloud market in 2018.

“Be worried about where you are on your cloud journey; then, use this anxiety and energy to reach a new level of cloud ‘awesomeness,’” she told the audience.

But how do you measure your cloud angst?

Ingram Micro can help you out with that. It’s called the Ingram Micro Cloud Awesomeness Roadmap (IMCAR) and it’s based on Ingram Micro’s efforts to gauge where its 45,000 worldwide partners are on their cloud journeys. Bergeron walked partners through IMCAR’s four stages: build, breadth, depth and scale.

Cutting to the chase, partners want to be a “scale” cloud partner, but a measly 1 percent of Ingram Micro cloud partners are there today. Here’s what these unique cloud partners are doing — and you’re not: They’re selling 10 or more cloud offerings and infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS); they’re masters at cross-selling; they use automated provisioning; they understand integrated digital marketing; they offer an outsourced catalog of cloud offerings; and their customers have self-service tools.

Ingram Micro's Renee Bergeron

Renee Bergeron

Renee Bergeron

At the other end of the road map are “build” cloud partners; in fact, 60 percent of them are at stage one. These cloud dabblers sell one to three cloud services, driving demand opportunistically. Provisioning is done using very little automation, which means that it could take 30 days or more.

“While these partners are seeing some profit, there’s no consistency because their processes are manual,” said Bergeron. “They’re also prone to errors.”

Thirty percent of Ingram Micro cloud partners are in the what the distributor calls the “breadth” stage. Breadth partners deliver between four and 10 cloud solutions — and they’re profitable. There are three things that they do well: cross-selling, using automation for provisioning, and leveraging integrated digital-marketing techniques.

Cross-selling is critical to the success of these partners, as well as those in the “depth” and “scale” stages. Bergeron calls it a multiplier effect.

“Most of you have done the hard work of acquiring the customer,” she said. “But you sell one solution, Office 365, and then you don’t follow through with that customer with a second, third and fourth — which are all easy attaches to Office 365.” 

What partners don’t understand is that their customers need the other solutions, and cross-selling will make the partner more money. By choosing not to cross-sell, partners aren’t maximizing the long-term value of the customer. When Ingram Micro benchmarked partners on the marketplace, only 10 percent were cross-selling customers.

In fact, customer-acquisition costs are lower when you cross-sell — and profit is higher. The cost of a sale when cross-selling is four times less than selling to a new customer, Bergeron explained. The same-size deal also closes 40 percent faster in a cross-sell deal than a new one.

“There’s also better customer retention and a lower churn rate,” she said, adding that there’s a 50 percent churn rate of customers when partners only sell them one cloud solution.

Bergeron contends that 30 percent of a partner’s cloud revenue should be driven by customer expansion via cross-selling. Her call to action for partners: Set a sales goal to cross-sell existing customers and give your sales team a cross-selling journey.

Growing your cloud business is an option.

The next stage in the Cloud Awesomeness Roadmap is “depth.” About 9 percent of Ingram Micro’s cloud partners fall in this category. These partners take more than 10 cloud-based solutions to market, but their differentiator here is in complexity of the offerings, which include IaaS and vertical-market services. Depth cloud partners focus on portfolio expansion because they want to become an end-to-end provider for their customers — that means going into the data center.

“IaaS is the largest untapped opportunity for partners,” said Bergeron. Today, more than 50 percent of cloud revenue goes through an indirect partner. IDC predicts that in two years that figure jumps to 75 percent.

She told the audience about Ingram Micro’s nine-step framework to help partners migrate a customer’s workload to the cloud. Bergeron added that only about 20 percent of customers’ workloads are in the cloud, so partners should get going and learn more about the IaaS opportunity.

Additional insight on depth partners: They focus on cross-selling; they use automated provisioning; they’re moving to integrated digital marketing to drive customer demand; and they offer a hybrid catalog. These partners also opt to have a few direct strategic relationships with vendors, which is possible on the Ingram Micro Cloud platform, meaning that partners can choose to have a hybrid catalog that includes both direct strategic vendors while also leveraging Ingram Micro’s extensive catalog of ISVs.

At the top of heap are “scale” partners, as mentioned earlier. Scale partners remove barriers to scale for their customers and they understand that the digital customer experience is the new customer battleground.

“These partners see four times more pipeline,” Bergeron notes.

Interestingly, scale partners move away from a hybrid catalog and to an outsourced catalog.

“When partners get to ‘scale,’ they move away from direct vendor relationships. They understand the total cost of ownership in managing those relationships and they’d rather focus on existing customers or new ones,” she said.

Scale partners also offer their customers a self-service option, enhancing their digital experience.

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About the Author(s)

Lynn Haber

Content Director Lynn Haber follows channel news from partners, vendors, distributors and industry watchers. If I miss some coverage, don’t hesitate to email me and pass it along. Always up for chatting with partners. Say hi if you see me at a conference!

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