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November 30, 2017
Richard Dufty, senior vice president, worldwide sales, services & support, Ingram Micro Cloud, and Tim FitzGerald, vice president, cloud channel sales, are about four months into their respective positions at the distribution company. Dufty spent the last five years at AppDirect, most recently as senior vice president, worldwide sales, and prior to that was with Symantec for about eight years. Fitzgerald was a long-time executive at distribution competitor Avnet Technology Solutions, recently acquired by Tech Data. Fitzgerald was vice president of digital transformation at Tech Data for five months before jumping ship to Ingram Micro.
Channel Partners: Why two new hires at Ingram Micro Cloud?
Tim FitzGerald: From my vantage point, Ingram was clearly selling platforms and cloud services in North America, historically, but I think there was an opportunity to bring in a fresh set of eyes and experience in both areas, that we could both help with.
Ingram Micro Cloud’s Richard Dufty
Richard Dufty: Look at it like a traditional startup — they start and then hit scale, at which time you have different people leave or come in, and our CEO Alain Monie decided that they want to double down and expand the cloud business, and to bring in fresh eyes and experience.
As you sit back and look at it, there’s no one out there that can do and provide the value that Ingram Micro Cloud is providing. For me, it was a big decision to leave AppDirect and come to Ingram, but I have a personal commitment to help the industry move to the cloud. When I looked at what Ingram was doing from technology, reach, from the investments they made, it was an exciting value proposition.
CP: What is each of you responsible for?
TF: I own what Ingram calls the cloud channel for North America, which is essentially the sale of cloud solutions to a traditional partner population, i.e. VARs, SIs, MSPs, that ilk of partners.
Ingram Micro Cloud’s Tim FitzGerald
RD: I lead our worldwide platform and enterprise business, and what that essentially means is that one is an indirect motion and one is more [of] a direct motion, and in neither do we sell to the end user. The marketplace that Tim is responsible for in North America is our Ingram Micro Channel Marketplace. It’s built on our platform — the Odin platform. We also provide that platform to 250 service providers around the world, including some of our competitors. We provide the platform and power to four or five very fast-growing distribution companies around the world, such as Insight and CDW, so that’s the differences in the businesses.
CP: What’s your message to partners about Ingram’s cloud business?
TF: A couple of things. If you look at all the points of differentiation that Ingram represents in the cloud, the value proposition, it’s a tremendous time if you’re a partner and you’re not in the cloud game to leverage the efficiency that Ingram brings to the table to help you get in the game; and, to develop a …
… cloud practice that represents a very broad catalog and an industry-leading platform to help you deliver valued solutions to an end-client population, both existing customers and new ones.
If you’ve been a member of the Ingram community and you’re representing [Microsoft] 365, we have some exciting new solutions that are on our marketplace that you as a partner can develop competency to sell to your customers. Adding more solutions in your portfolio makes you (partners) valuable to your end clients.
We also see a tremendous opportunity to complement software as a service with infrastructure as a service and represent industry-leading providers like Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services, again through this platform that takes cost out of you (partners) doing business in delivering cloud services.
CP: Ingram Micro announced that that it’s reached 2 million seats on its cloud marketplace. Want to talk about the growth of the marketplace?
RD: The Ingram Micro Channel Marketplace that has 40,000 resellers signed up, collectively has 2 million seats on that marketplace that it facilitates, builds, provisions and manages.
Our message for partners, is the way we’ve built this marketplace platform out, it’s not about what we do, but what it allows our partners to do. So, every time we do something, how does this help our customers do more, take new products to market, how does it help them automate the provisioning of a product, how does it enable them to turn on Office 365 in seconds, not hours or days — those are the things we’re thinking about.
As we move to a cloud economy, with every month that passes, there’s one less month for partners to transform. If they don’t transform, digitalize, leverage the cloud, absorb and engage in cloud solutions, there will be a point – and I can’t predict when that time is – that they will go down.
CP: What’s ahead for 2018?
RD: I’m building the platform out for our partners. At the leadership level – and I sit on our executive leadership team – our focus for 2018 is, how do we help our current partners do more? Part of that is helping our partners define what success looks like. Where do they want to go and what does their North Star look like?
We talk to a lot of partners and what we find is that the world is moving so fast, that like most of us they haven’t paused and thought about where they’re going, and what success for them looks like. Our goal is not necessarily to continue to just add numbers [of partners in the marketplace], but what we’re also trying to do is … work with resellers that want to work with us — to leverage our visibility, our reach, our ability to share information with them to help them be more successful.
In 2018, it’s getting partners to leverage the cloud, and for many, it’s about …
… just getting started. Many have transacted twice on the marketplace in the last 12 months — how do we get them to sell more? We love Microsoft and we want them to sell a ton of Microsoft, but how do we help them sell more than just Microsoft?
In the last 90 days alone, we’ve launched DocuSign on the marketplace, Cisco Spark … these are exciting solutions that every one of our resellers now has instant access to. DocuSign has 300,000 new leads come to their website a day. They’re partnering with us to see how we can take those leads together and give them to the reseller community to execute those leads.
We have a lot going on with the ISVs and I’m seeing a big trend where ISVs are making the decision to invest big time back into distribution, at least with Ingram Micro. But, sometimes I don’t think that partners are leveraging what they could. It’s like they’ve got a free pass to the gym with a personal trainer and some of them aren’t using it.
The real beneficiary is the SMB [end customer] and my concern for the SMB is that they’re going to be left behind. If the SMBs don’t embrace technology, they simply can’t compete, and compete with the big guy. Our resellers have a tremendous opportunity to serve that SMB community to not just save them, but propel them into the future and help them compete with big business.
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