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June 1, 2012
Ingram Cloud SummitFormer United States CIO Vivek Kundra and several other cloud services experts are set to keynote the third-annual Ingram Micro Cloud Summit (June 4-6, Scottsdale, Ariz.). But behind the scenes, the pre-event chatter involves Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) finally gaining momentum among VARs and MSPs.
In addition to the VDI technology chatter, the conference will feature cloud business insights from such pundits as:
But let’s start with the big picture. This is the third-annual Ingram Micro Cloud Summit — and a lot has changed since the first event in 2010. Back then, most attendees were involved in Ingram Micro Seismic, the distributor’s effort to help transform VARs into MSPs.
Under former VP Justin Crotty (now at NetEnrich), Ingram gradually transitioned the Seismic conversation to a cloud conversation. At first some Ingram partners were skeptical — holding fast to on-premises hardware and software sales. But the rise of Amazon Web Services, Rackspace, Saleforce and other cloud-centric companies has forced Ingram partners to take a closer look at the cloud.
Not by coincidence, Ingram (NYSE: IM) built out a so-called cloud aggregator platform. That effort shifted into overdrive when VP Renee Bergeron arrived in mid- to late-2010. Today, Ingram Micro Cloud is a portal for VARs and MSPs that want to source one or more cloud services for end-customers. The portal allows partners to manage sourcing, pricing, end-customer billing and more.
Ingram’s approach seems to be catching on. Among the evidence:
Ingram Micro Cloud was ranked 18 in our recent Top 100 Cloud Services Providers report, called the Talkin’ Cloud 100. The report is based on real-world cloud services revenues and other financial metrics. Plus, Ingram Micro Cloud bookings are doubling year-over-year, according to Bergeron.
Also, the top 10 percent of channel partners now have at least 1,000 users hosted in the cloud, according to Bergeron, who shared those insights during the recent Ingram Micro VTN gathering in Colorado Springs, Colo.
Still, Ingram isn’t the only distributor in the cloud market. The Avnet Cloud Solutions initiative launched earlier today. Additional distributor initiatives on the radar include Arrow Fusion Cloud Services, Synnex CloudSolv, and Tech Data StreamOne and TDCloud.
Fast forward to the present, and certain market segments like cloud storage and hosted email have gained critical mass. So what’s next for Ingram and it’s partners?
The safe bet is VDI. Whatever you call it — virtual desktop infrastructure, desktop as a service (DaaS) or hosted desktops — the VDI market seems ready to grab the spotlight at Ingram Micro Cloud Summit.
Over the past year or two, source say, Ingram has quietly tested and rejected multiple VDI platforms. Some VDI offerings couldn’t handled so-called burst activities — such as when multiple users boot up at the same time when arriving for work in the morning. Others had licensing requirements that weren’t easy for VARs and MSPs to resell.
But finally, here in 2012, it sounds like Ingram is confident some VDI solutions are worth promoting via the Ingram Micro Cloud. Keep a particularly close eye on Ingram’s virtualization relationships with Citrix Systems and VMware.
Earlier this week, Google gave a big vote of confidence to the hosted Windows desktop market, endorsing a solution from nGenX — a Citrix, VMware and Microsoft partner.
Google believes desktop as a service is ready for mass deployment. I suspect Ingram Micro will make a similar statement next week.
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