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Ingram Micro has announced the addition of Microsoft Azure to its much-hyped Cloud Marketplace in the UK.
The Azure functionality, which has been available stateside since earlier this year, is now available through the Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) programme via the Cloud Marketplace.
The announcement was made as Ingram hosted i360 Cloud Conference in Brighton, where it invited partners to explore opportunities and challenges in that come with digital transformation and cloud.
Ingram Micro’s marketplace seems to be going from strength to strength. Launched in the UK around 18 months ago, the platform has steadily been gaining traction.
“Adoption has happening much faster than we had first anticipated,” Apay Obang-Oyway, director of cloud in Northern Europe, told MicroScope. “At events like this, we’d have struggled to get 50 attendees. Now we’re easily getting up to 200.”
Obang-Oyway says that there are now approximately 1,800 partners in the UK making use of the marketplace.
The jewel in the crown of the marketplace is perhaps Microsoft’s CSP programme, which enables resellers to not only sell Microsoft’s cloud services, but to maintain end-to-end control of the customer relationship; as opposed to simply redirecting customers to Microsoft. As a master Cloud Service Provider (Microsoft terminology), Ingram essentially distributes CSP, handling provisioning and billing via its automated platform, and leaving resellers to manage the nuts and bolts of the relationship, such as service management and end-user support.
To date, Office 365 has very much been the catalyst behind CSP adoption amongst resellers using the Cloud Marketplace in the UK. However, the addition of Azure will open up wider capabilities within the Microsoft’s cloud stack, allowing partners to bill for and provision compute, storage, data, networking and applications or build custom solutions and wrap them in a managed service.
“By automating the delivery of Azure and making available the necessary resources and tools for transformation, our reseller partners have the capability to quickly build a successful Azure practice and deliver greater value to their customers,” said Obang-Oyway.
Of course, Azure won’t be for all CSP partners, given its breadth and complexity, but Ingram also announced a range of managed and professional services, powered by Comms-care. These include education materials, as well as migration and 24x7 support, both white-labeled, helping partners to take advantage of the growing number of cloud services on offer in the marketplace.
“We know that partners want to be able to operate as bigger organisations than they actually are - they want that greater capability,” Obang-Oyway said. "They want to be able to consume these services, but under their own brand and these new offerings will allow them to do that.”