At Ingram Micro One, Distributor Eyes Hybrid Cloud 'Education Gap'At Ingram Micro One, Distributor Eyes Hybrid Cloud 'Education Gap'
Ingram Micro expanded its Data Center and Hybrid Cloud Center of Excellence with self-paced learning tracks and a virtual lab.
September 26, 2023
INGRAM MICRO ONE — Distributor Ingram Micro is rolling out new resources to help reseller partners grow more mature in their modern infrastructure practices.
Ingram has expanded its Data Center and Hybrid Cloud Center of Excellence with self-paced “Fast Tracks” around what partner leaders or sales reps need to improve their knowledge in hybrid cloud. The company also broadly announced its Advanced Solutions Integration Lab, which allows partners to virtually explore multivendor environments.
Ingram Micro first announced the Center of Excellence in 2022 as a way to give partners “consolidated access” to education, sales and deployment resources.
Ingram Micro’s Cheryl Rang
“Historically, if you wanted to know about hybrid cloud, where would you even begin? It’s so broad. It’s so vast that you’re either talking to 20 different vendors with 20 different reps and this different service provider and this different customer,” said Cheryl Rang, Ingram Micro’s executive director of advanced solutions and data center. “We have access to all of it, and we’re creating these multivendor solutions that give you, as a business partner, easy access to understand and gain access without having to go into 50 different areas.”
The distributor is gathering channel partners and vendors in Nashville this week for its annual Ingram Micro One conference.
Here’s our most recent list of important channel-program changes you should know.
Ingram Micro One: Introducing New Fast Tracks
Ingram Micro will provide fast tracks for hybrid and multicloud solutions, digital workspace and application modernization. They’ll access the learning and training through the Xvantage platform that Ingram Micro announced earlier this year and can work with consultants to explore how to apply the new knowledge to their customer bases.
Rang said a wide range of partners may benefit from the hybrid cloud fast tracks. On one hand, many traditional value-added resellers are still trying to make their way into the cloud. For those partners, cloud might only mean Office 365, Rang said. At the same time, born-in-the-cloud partners might have developed such a specialized practice that they don’t know how to wrap adjacent technologies (including hardware) around cloud in order to optimize it.
“There’s still a very big education gap for our partners on how they actually do that,” Rang told Channel Futures. “… Our intent is certainly to be partnering Ingram Micro with those partners, regardless of which area they sit, to get them comfortable with the education and the knowledge around who, what and how to build a solution. [Also to get comfortable] to have that conversation with their end users, with the comfort of knowing that Ingram is there to support them from the consulting side all the way through to deployment and the full life cycle view through ITAD.”
For example, one partner owner approached the distributor saying one of its sales reps would benefit from the fast tracks, Rang said. That recently hired rep understood how to sell AWS but lacked experience selling hardware vendors such as HPE and Dell.
“They went through and took the education. They worked with a consultant who came in and said, ‘All right, you’re already talking to your customer about their cloud spend. When’s the last time you did an optimization assessment with them?’ [The rep] said, ‘I didn’t know we did that. We don’t have that capability in-house. Where do I go with it?’ So we brought in our services team. They worked with them and their end user to create this view of all of their end-user deployments that they had out there,” Rang said.
The assessment of the end user concluded that it needed to refresh its HPE gear, Rang said.
Rang said the digital environment appeals to partners of all sizes.
“You could be the smallest shop and have one sales rep and you want to get them certified. This is an easy-to-consume way for them being able to understand the power of Ingram behind it to show up and look and feel like a large enterprise customer,” Rang said. “We’ve also seen more of our national solutions providers say, ‘Hey, I want you to educate 100 of my sales reps. And they can go through the exact same training at a low-cost model and gain that same viewpoint.'”
Ingram Micro in August introduced its Advanced Solutions Integration Lab at an event in Boston. But now the distributor has taken the environment “mainstream.”
The goal of the lab is for Ingram partners to test and configure different technology solutions. However, partners can access those demonstrations remotely.
“We’ve taken all of the technology that physically sits in the environment and given the partners access to utilize it virtually. We have a physical HPE server onsite, but rather than having to come and look at it in order to see it, you can go through from a virtual environment, get views of all of your specs, take measurements and see how it works,” Rang said.
Throughout the week at Ingram Micro One, the company plans to make announcements around topics like staff augmentation, its digital Xvantage platform and AI.
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