Before I share an important takeaway from the 2015 Ingram Micro Cloud Summit, I have to say for the record that I’ve never spoken with this year’s emcee, mentalist Craig Karges, before being called up on stage this morning. How he was able to exactly replicate the chartreuse Maserati that cost $130,452.42 (I don’t recall the license plate number, but he got that right too, of course) on a piece of paper in a sealed envelope is beyond me. Was it the power of suggestion? Slight of hand? All I know is that this is definitely one of those mysteries I’m going to be wrestling with for a long time!
Not unlike this morning’s magic trick, selling cloud services is a mystery to many VARs. During lunch, I sat by a business owner who described himself as a VAR that sold managed print services (MPS) but hadn’t yet made the transition to selling managed IT services or cloud services. He was intrigued by what he was hearing about the Ingram Micro Cloud Marketplace, but was still skeptical about whether it was as simple as it was made out to be. After all, one of the things he dreaded about selling MPS was having to log into his vendor partner’s portal each month, figure out which services were used by each customer, and manually create invoices. Could the Ingram Micro Cloud Marketplace really eliminate this process with cloud services?
Fact is that this VAR and anyone reading this article isn’t going to know the answer until they ‘Get after it,” as Judson Althoff, President of Microsoft, North America said during his message yesterday. Ingram Micro EVP of Cloud, Nimesh Davé, echoed the same sentiment today when he emphasized that there is a race to the cloud and those who hesitate are going to miss out big time as their customers migrate to the cloud with other providers.
The reality is that the Cloud Marketplace isn’t like your iPhone, which doesn’t come with directions and you just kinda figure it out as you go. It’s going to require some training to learn how to, for example, set up variable pricing discounts for customers and learn other finer points of this robust platform. So, you gotta do your part and get after it, but what’s nice is that Ingram Micro has plenty of assistance and incentives available to help.
If you missed yesterday’s breakout session on the Cloud Elevate program, led by Ingram Micro Field Service Manager Christine Leny, you really need to pay close attention to this:
Go to www.elevate.ingrammicrocloud.se check it out and sign up. It’s free with no strings attached, and here are a few highlights of how this program unlocks the value of the Cloud Marketplace:
- Receive $150 marketplace credit that you can use toward any Ingram Micro Cloud Suite purchased over the next 3 months. You have the option to leverage this credit for your own internal use and research or to purchase cloud solutions for your customers.
- Get plugged into Ingram Micro’s Cloud Marketplace training, including 30-min. live webcasts every Tuesday at 3:30 pm ET (also available on demand), plus more in-depth Marketplace Focus training the first Thursday of every month.
- Take advantage of tons of discounts on sales, marketing, and business training from organizations such as ClikCloud, Managed Services Pros, MSPCFO, CompTIA, Acumen Management Group, and Sandler Training.
Next, start transacting on the Cloud Marketplace. You can start by trying just one or two services (e.g. Microsoft Office 365 is a popular entry cloud service followed by cloud backup) and adding on as you get more comfortable with the process.
In upcoming blogs, I’ll be sharing stories from some of this year’s attendees who are taking this message to heart and putting it into practice. There’s no reason one of those future success stories can’t be your story.