Ingram Micro has issued a cloud ultimatum to the New Zealand channel, urging resellers to revaluate traditional practices as new technologies flood the market.
Delivered at a jam-packed Showcase event in Auckland, the global distribution giant showcased its cloud credentials to the Kiwi channel, emphasising the need for resellers to shift focus and change approaches.
“Cloud has changed the way we play and the way we operate,” Ingram Micro, executive vice president of Global Cloud, Nimesh Dave, said.
“We have to be faster and we have to innovate. In this new world of cloud, good is not good enough anymore. You need to be better.
“And to be better you have to partner with businesses that help you adopt cloud and help you transform the way you work. Businesses that can invest on your behalf to help you innovate.”
In outlining the distributor’s roadmap for 2017, Dave told Reseller News that Ingram Micro has also realigned its strategy in the wake of cloud, recognising the need to capitalise on new pockets of growth across the industry.
“How many people know that Ingram Micro is not only a wholesale distributor but a software engineering firm?” he asked.
“We’re an innovation company and we’re finding new ways to innovate. We’re investing in the cloud evolution to help partners consume technology and to help customers consume technology.
“We do this whether we’re in New Zealand, Mexico or Brazil. Let Ingram Micro be your investment partner and let us make those investments to make you successful in cloud transformation. Let us be your trusted advisor.”
Ingram Micro’s stance comes at a time when a corporate "no-cloud" policy will soon be as rare as a "no-internet" policy, according to recent research findings by Gartner.
Cloud-first, and even cloud-only, is replacing the defensive no-cloud stance that dominated many large providers in recent years.
Today, most provider technology innovation is cloud-centric, with the stated intent of retrofitting the technology to on-premises.
“Aside from the fact that many organisations with a no-cloud policy actually have some under-the-radar or unavoidable cloud usage, we believe that this position will become increasingly untenable,” Gartner research vice president, Jeffrey Mann, said.
“Cloud will increasingly be the default option for software deployment. The same is true for custom software, which increasingly is designed for some variation of public or private cloud.”
Dave said customers are now looking to service providers to assist with cloud adoption, with 55 per cent of organisations buying directly from the service provider.
In addition, Dave said that cloud has created an addressable market of $US103 billion through the channel at a global level.
“Transforming a business requires dedicated assistance and competency,” Dave added. “Service providers must be trusted advisors and help customers around migration and configuration, maximising existing investment and supporting growth.”
In short, Dave believes cloud will enable resellers to transform business processes by becoming a “one-stop shop”, providing end-to-end support through automated operations.
Delving deeper, Dave said cloud can help partners gain greater market share through e-commerce platforms, new segments and services, alongside an incremental increase in business value through subscription revenue and customer retention.
With the direction of travel clear, and end-user appetite increasing, Dave urged resellers to reassess traditional practices in the face of widespread cloud adoption.
“Do you know how hard it is to stay in business for 30 years?” Dave asked.
“We all have to be adaptive to change. We work on small margins which is why we have to be very fast and which is why we invested very early in the cloud.
“The problem with realising all of the opportunities cloud brings is whether you have the knowledge or the tools to succeed? And the problem is those tools are not like the tools we were using, they are changing very quickly.”
In New Zealand, and across the world, Dave acknowledged that partners encounter challenges by simply “not starting early enough” with cloud transformation plans.
“The traditional businesses of storage, servers and data centres are shrinking and partners must change,” he said.
“If you operated a $100 sales business this year and you were profitable, then next year that number will drop to $90. Once it reaches $80, you will become insolvent.
“And the reason we’re seeing so many insolvencies is because new technologies are nibbling away at these shrinking businesses and value-added resellers (VARs) don’t know how to fill the gap.”
Dave said in some instances, customers in smaller territories are operating in a “direct motion,” which means that end-users on occasions are “bypassing the channel altogether”.
“What a VAR must do is move away from chasing those $10,000 sales,” Dave explained. “Instead they must focus on ten $1,000 deals which requires a change of mindset from the channel.
“But they are not collaborated that way because VARs are designed to chase the big meaty deals. The problem is those big meaty deals don’t exist anymore.
“And that’s our role. We want to help partners by providing the education and the tools to succeed in the cloud.”
Ingram Micro Cloud
To assist the channel as migration demands increase from customers, Dave referenced the Ingram Micro Cloud as a key driver in realising new partner ambitions.
Offering a platform for partners to deliver bundled services, up-sell and cross sell capabilities and simpler infrastructure management, Ingram Micro Cloud providers security, business applications, cloud services, communication and infrastructure solutions.
Speaking exclusively to Reseller News in Auckland, Dave said the end game is built around allowing partners to monetise and manage the entire customer lifecycle of cloud services, infrastructure and the Internet of Things subscriptions.
Dave said Ingram Micro is also increasing its engagement with independent software vendors (ISVs) across the world, with Ingram Micro Cloud housing the largest cloud ISV ecosystem in the industry.
“In less than five minutes, our objective is to move any ISV from across the world onto our marketplace,” he explained. “Our business is bringing new technology, internet service providers and software vendors into the fold.
“Our role is to recruit the smaller innovating companies and place them in the hands of the partner so they can sell onto the customer.”
Coupled with a “comprehensive” services catalogue, Ingram Micro now provides partners with vertical solutions spanning healthcare, legal, government and retail, alongside a variety of horizontal solutions.
“We’ve also taken the support structure out of vendor hands and we do all 24/7 support through all the applications we sell through our marketplace,” Dave added.
“Ingram Micro is committed to make our partners successful in the cloud. We’ll help you transform your business and help you win greater market share. We’re a partner that is investing in your future.”