Ingram Micro is making good on its promises to better support its channel ecosystem, with the launch of a suite of new tools and capabilities for UK partners.
The new tools are designed to take much of the time and effort out of reselling technologies from Ingram Micro's vendor partners, hopefully improving sales across the board by providing channel partners with training and resources to further improve their effectiveness.
"The investments we make, we make them for our partners to be successful. Ingram Micro and Cloud Blue are partner-first organisations; it's the essence of everything we do," said Nimesh Davé, executive vice president of global cloud computing at Ingram Micro during the company's UK Cloud Summit in London this week.
"We believe the channel will be around a lot longer than any of us will."
Available via a self-service cloud marketplace, the new Sales and Marketing Hub gives partners access to a wide array of resources and templates to make them more effective at selling specific technologies, including technology from smaller partners, as well as giants like Microsoft and Cisco.
Partners will be able to educate their sales teams on the specifics of these technologies with standardised sales playbooks, create marketing campaigns with intuitive pre-set templates - including elements such as emails, social posts and lead capture forms, and access to resources such as research whitepapers and webinar recordings.
"For me, the key takeaway is, it's more than one thing", said Ingram Micro's director of cloud and advanced solutions Scott Murphy. "Nimesh talked about the solution playbooks, there are also product playbooks by vendor, videos, data sheets, and sales sheets, so you can learn - and then I can use a call sheet to pick up the phone and make some calls."
The Sales and Marketing Hub is accessible now and is open to all Ingram Micro partners as a value-added proposition. All of the company's global strategic vendors have now been onboarded, with the rest of the UK-specific vendors to be onboarded shortly.
"It was sort of a lightbulb moment for me", said Richard Agnew, EMEA vice president at data security vendor Code 42. "Every vendor has a partner portal, and I'm thinking 'why doesn't the distie do that?' Because that does actually make a lot of sense."
"I'd need to look into it in a bit more detail, but it did seem like an exciting announcement. I'm thinking okay, well, we're with Ingram - let's see how we can make this work. So yeah, it looks good."
Alongside this, the company also launched Ingram Micro Connect, a new 'digital on-ramp' which allows ISVs to quickly and easily integrate their products into the Ingram Micro Cloud Marketplace. After creating an account, ISVs simply specify the features, plans and pricing options for their software, and choose which of Ingram Micro's nearly 50 regional markets they'd like to make their software available in. After that, Ingram Micro says that approval will take "a matter of days".
This works in concert with the Sales and Marketing Hub, giving Ingram Micro's 200,000 resellers access to training, resources, sales sheets and other assets which they can then use to sell an ISV's solution to their customers, with minimal legwork on the part of the ISV.
"The reason we're bringing this to market now is that there's an explosion of really good technology out there, but most of it never, ever sees the light," Davé added.
He cited the potential for resellers who have worked with customers to develop software; those resellers can then put that software on the Cloud Marketplace via Ingram Micro Connect and start selling it to other resellers, adding a new revenue stream and turning them from a reseller into a technology provider in their own right.
Ingram Micro Connect is currently supporting 96 ISVs, but the company is actively looking to recruit large numbers of cyber security providers to the platform, citing the large sales opportunity provided by threats like ransomware, which Davé said remains one of the most pervasive threats for all sizes of business.
Channel Pro Newsletter
Stay up to date with the latest Channel industry news and analysis with our twice-weekly newsletter
Adam Shepherd has been a technology journalist since 2015, covering everything from cloud storage and security, to smartphones and servers. Over the course of his career, he’s seen the spread of 5G, the growing ubiquity of wireless devices, and the start of the connected revolution. He’s also been to more trade shows and technology conferences than he cares to count.
Adam is an avid follower of the latest hardware innovations, and he is never happier than when tinkering with complex network configurations, or exploring a new Linux distro. He was also previously a co-host on the ITPro Podcast, where he was often found ranting about his love of strange gadgets, his disdain for Windows Mobile, and everything in between.
You can find Adam tweeting about enterprise technology (or more often bad jokes) @AdamShepherUK.