The platform comes from Ingram Micro Cloud. Channel head Victor Baez goes into detail about what it means for partners.

Kelly Teal, Contributing Editor

July 27, 2021

5 Min Read

Ingram Micro Cloud recently launched Marketplace-as-a-Service, which lets resellers provision their own cloud marketplaces. The new platform further helps channel partners develop subscription-based business models. That’s a crucial capability in the cloud era as infrastructure sales, while not dead, take a hit.


Ingram Micro’s Victor Baez

Channel Futures caught up with Victor Baez, who runs Ingram Micro’s cloud channel to learn more about the marketplace-as-a-service model. (Baez, if you didn’t know, has been promoted to senior vice president of the global cloud channel, less than a year after joining Ingram Micro Cloud.)

In this Q&A, we dive into what the marketplace offers resellers, what they need to contribute and why Ingram Micro Cloud saw the need for it. As a few teasers, consider what Baez says Marketplace-as-a-Service will help resellers achieve:

  • Expand their cloud businesses without worrying about back-end operations

  • Reduce operations costs

  • Automate more processes

  • Gain more insight into business performance

  • Increase efficiency

Curious? Read on to learn more.

Channel Futures: What’s the step-by-step process for resellers to take advantage of marketplace-as-a-service?

Victor Baez: It’s very straightforward. After signing up on the registration page, a Platform Success team member from Ingram Micro Cloud will contact the reseller to help them better understand how the marketplace-as-a-service model will further enable their business and help them accelerate their growth and skyrocket their business efficiency.

CF: What do they pay to participate?

VB: Resellers are charged a flat deployment fee in advance that covers the cost of the initial deployment and setup. In addition, there is a variable fee based on performance, which is basically a revenue-share model. As the reseller expands and grows, they are charged a small percentage of their total revenue to cover the management and operating fees for the platform.

CF: Conversely, how do they make money? Is this a revenue-split situation with IM? Trying to dig into the financial aspect of this so partners fully understand that.

VB: Resellers make money by further commercializing their own intellectual property and exposing it to more customers and prospects. The marketplace-as-a-service model is mainly based on the reseller getting access to the platform where it is fully configured and managed in the backend without having the reseller worry about anything related to the platform backend the likes of deployment, hosting, configuring, maintaining, managing and more.

CF: What types of intellectual property (IP) and services do you envision resellers attaching to IM’s marketplace-as-a-service?

VB: The marketplace-as-a-service model will allow resellers to add more products and services on their storefront, enabling them to expand the commercial possibilities of their IP. A reseller’s IP can be in the form of bundled offer, a specialty service that they are certified in delivering or an in-house developed solution that they offer to their customers along with their services.

CF: What does this mean: “Reseller partners will have the ability to inherit Ingram Micro Cloud’s product catalog on their customizable storefront.”?

VB: Of course. Ingram Micro Cloud will give resellers adopting the marketplace-as-a-service model the ability to leverage our existing portfolio of more than 200 products through our syndication agreement. They will not need to contract each vendor separately to be able to resell their products, they can inherit our product catalog directly through one contract.

Not just that, resellers will have the ability to bring external products and agreements — meaning that even if they resell products that are outside of the Ingram Micro Cloud catalog, they can still bring those products to their storefront and configure it with their vendors at ease. This enables resellers with far more flexibility beyond the Ingram Micro Cloud lens as we care about their growth and ability to efficiently scale without locking them in or forcing them on a certain agreement or pricing structure.

CF: What tech support will IM provide to resellers to help them build their storefronts?

VB: Resellers will get access to a marketplace that is offered as a managed service. This means that resellers do not have to worry about deployment, hosting, configuring products/service plans/bundles, management and maintenance of the platform.

There are a large number of additional customizations or integrations that a reseller can….

…potentially configure to further personalize the platform experience. For example, resellers can select what they need help with from an ‘à la carte’ services menu and be charged based on the level of effort.

CF: Any specific tools/systems the Marketplace APIs work best with? Or is it totally open source?

VB: We provide partners with detailed API documentation that explains how the API works and what capabilities we extend through the platform API, just in case they need to integrate their marketplace with one of their local systems. Resellers just need to have a development team that can potentially leverage the API at no additional cost.

CF: What channel cloud trends do you hope to see emerge from this effort with resellers?

VB: I’d hope to see more resellers continue to recognize the clear benefits of top cloud marketplaces like Ingram Micro Cloud. This is something we have already started to see with Forrester embarking upon multiple reports of the Total Economic Impact of certain cloud marketplace platforms. Going forward, I’d like to see the reseller cost benefit further highlighted by other research institutes and initiatives like our marketplace-as-a-service model to underscore the true potential of cloud marketplaces.

CF: What spurred Ingram Micro Cloud to launch this offering?

VB: Quite simply, there was a gap that needed to be filled. Resellers expect distributors to further enable them to grow and scale. Different marketplaces out there either offer basic-to-limited capabilities at no cost or a full-blown, expensive marketplace experience. There was nothing in between that could potentially enable our partners to scale without a seven- to eight-digit investment in advance. We wanted to expand on that opportunity and offer resellers the ability to grow and efficiently scale without a high operating cost.


Want to contact the author directly about this story? Have ideas for a follow-up article? Email Kelly Teal or connect with her on LinkedIn.


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About the Author(s)

Kelly Teal

Contributing Editor, Channel Futures

Kelly Teal has more than 20 years’ experience as a journalist, editor and analyst, with longtime expertise in the indirect channel. She worked on the Channel Partners magazine staff for 11 years. Kelly now is principal of Kreativ Energy LLC.

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