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Salesforce, Cisco Add Heft to 2 Distributor Cloud Marketplaces

Hear more about what the partnerships mean for the channel, especially during COVID-19.

Kelly Teal

June 29, 2020

5 Min Read
Cloud marketplace

As partners look for unique ways to support enterprises amid COVID-19, two distributors have come to the table with big-name cloud marketplace options. Ingram Micro Cloud and D&H Distributing both said they aim to give the channel cloud tools operate better during the coronavirus pandemic.

To that end, Ingram Micro Cloud has bolstered its work with Salesforce. The Irvine, Calif.-based company now offers Salesforce Essentials in the cloud marketplace. Essentials is the small-business version of Salesforce’s customer relationship management platform. And, D&H now supplies a range of Cisco bundles through its cloud marketplace. MSPs and VARs can customize packages with hardware, additional software and managed services.


Salesforce’s Meredith Schmidt

“At a time when small businesses are facing new and unfamiliar challenges, we hope to bring critical small business tools and resources to Ingram Micro Cloud’s community of reselling partners and small business customers,” Meredith Schmidt, executive vice president and general manager of essentials and SMB at Salesforce, said in a recent statement.


D&H Distributing’s Jay Adkins

D&H’s Jay Adkins, director of the distributor’s Cisco Business Unit, agreed.

“More small businesses are adjusting to the use of digital platforms, and they’re looking to the channel to help them complete this transition,” he said in a June press release. So, he added, D&H and Cisco “are here to provide the tools and resources to make sure they thrive.”

Partners Get to Offer Small Businesses the ‘Essentials’

For Sam Barhoumeh, founder and CEO of MSP ReadyNetworks, the availability of Salesforce Essentials on the Ingram Micro Cloud Marketplace is significant.


ReadyNetworks’ Sam Barhoumeh

“Salesforce Essentials allows our organization to stand up our data and also align with any clients that use the same platform,” Barhoumeh told Channel Futures. “With the data AI portion of it, it will enable you to use it out of the gate while not limiting you to move forward into bigger packages of Salesforce’s CRM when your business or project workloads grow and require it. With all that, you still get API and other integration points, which are critical when working with clients that are data-dependent.”

Rolling out Salesforce Essentials from the Ingram Micro Cloud Marketplace requires little partner effort, Barhoumeh said. However, he noted “professional services are typically needed when we work with the client’s data and look to move CRM into Salesforce Essentials. Proper mapping exercises are required upfront to ensure you [import] reliable data.”

A big advantage for ReadyNetworks lies in the ability to couple Salesforce Essentials with Ingram Micro’s cloud capabilities. This pairing, he said, “allows partners to quickly use one source of truth to access additional PaaS platforms while maintaining licensing pricing and monthly billings. For our business, this works great.”

The Salesforce Essentials platform, through Ingram Micro Cloud Marketplace, will work well for any service-related business, Barhoumeh said. Examples include sales, logistics, health care and manufacturing.

Ingram Micro Cloud is providing sales support to its channel partners to help them sell Salesforce Essentials.

On a final note, Ingram Micro Cloud Marketplace also just teamed with FreshBooks, a small business accounting software developer. Ingram Micro Cloud said it joined forces with FreshBooks in response to reseller demand for cloud accounting. FreshBooks will expand its Ingram Micro Cloud Marketplace distribution later this year to include Australia, Canada and the UK.

A Look at D&H’s Cisco Cloud Marketplace Strategy

Meanwhile, D&H’s cloud marketplace also is on a roll. Partners for the Harrisburg, Pennsylvania-based distributor now have access to the following cloud services from Cisco: Webex (for collaboration), Umbrella (for layered security) and Stealthwatch (for network visibility and threat detection).

Resellers and MSPs may create bundles with the services. For instance, they can craft secure packages for remote workers complete with laptops, Umbrella contracts, Webex licensing for collaboration, as well as add-ons such as laptop cases and surge protectors. Partners further can think in terms of security packages for the K-12 market, as another example.

Partners may conduct manual quoting and ordering, and automated contract modification, through D&H’s…

…cloud marketplace. The distributor allows for tiered pricing, too, so VARs and MSPs may accommodate each customer’s budget.


D&H Distributing’s Jason Bystrak

“Our goal is to make it as seamless as possible for partners to become profitable providers of cloud-based services,” said Jason Bystrak, vice president of D&H’s cloud business unit.

Channel Futures was awaiting additional comment from Bystrak about the D&H-Cisco deal. Because D&H only just implemented the Cisco solutions in its cloud marketplace, the distributor said it’s too early to identify a partner who has been selling them long enough to speak with Channel Futures.

Cloud marketplaces have grown more popular and useful as channel partners – particularly those with legacy roots – seek to specialize in next-generation technologies. Selling cloud apps and building them into the client’s cloud environment creates recurring revenue through subscriptions and managed services. This addresses the long-recognized need to move away from one-time sales, a model that grows more obsolete as enterprises choose cloud and eschew capex-heavy purchases.

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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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