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June 1, 2011
At Ingram Micro Cloud Summit, the distributor demonstrated a provisioning system that allows VARs and MSPs to select and activate cloud services for end-customers. The demonstration focused on purchasing and provisioning an email mailbox from Intermedia, a hosted Exchange company that works closely with Ingram.
The demonstration showed how a VAR could quickly set up seven hosted Exchange mailboxes, place the order and provision the service. Ingram says the steps typically take three minutes or less. “It’s a pretty standard shopping cart experience,” said Renee Bergeron, VP of managed services and cloud computing at Ingram. Bergeron said the payment system is hosted in a PCI-compliant data center.
The Cloud Provisioning System — part of Ingram’s new Ingram Cloud Marketplace — includes a single sign-on capability across IngramMicro.com. The same user ID and password will function on IngramMicroCloud.com, without having to authenticate again, said Bergeron. Also, an end-to-end service reporting capability allows partners to track the service.
The final step, actually provisioning the service, had a brief demo glitch but it was — after all — beta software. But ultimately the end result was successful: The email account was set up and triggered automated updates to the new user as well as to the administrator.
Still, some attendees noted that cloud service providers like GoDaddy have more mature, proven provisioning systems for VARs and MSPs. But Ingram has a grander goal: Extending its provisioning system to multiple third-party applications.
I’ve got my usual questions:
When does the provisioning system go live?
Which Ingram Micro Cloud Marketplace applications will be available in the provisioning system?
How are the services branded and billed out to the end-customers?
Can partners set their own end-customer pricing?
I suspect Ingram has answers at their fingertips but the main sessions continue here at Ingram Micro Cloud Summit. Once the main sessions wrap up I will poke around for more answers.
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