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Why A Cloud Marketing Plan Isn’t Just a ‘Nice to Have’

19

Sep, 13

Why A Cloud Marketing Plan Isn’t Just a ‘Nice to Have’

Back in early April, Ingram Micro rolled out several new cloud initiatives at the Annual Cloud Summit in Phoenix, AZ, taking its total Cloud Marketplace offerings to more than 170, including new telecom services, hardware as a service (HaaS) bundles, and more than a dozen new cloud-based services.

Jason Bystrak, Ingram’s director of sales, was recently asked by CRN Senior Editor Rob Wright to share an update about what Ingram is focused on next regarding the cloud. According to Bystrak, the second half of the year is all about executing on what was announced at the show. During the interview, Bystrak revealed three specific areas the company is focused on for the second half of the year:

1. Communication and Collaboration Solutions (e.g. Cisco HCS, carrier services)
2. Cloud Desk (a team of Ingram engineers dedicated to helping VARs/MSPs with presales opportunities involving cloud solutions and services)
3. Seeding the Cloud (a KPI marketing program to help VARs/MSPs recruit new customers for cloud solutions and services)

Marketing is one of the biggest areas where resellers struggle and many resort to “word of mouth” as their only type of marketing. “We’re often asked by partners what kinds of cloud solutions they should be selling, but without a marketing plan they simply end up waiting for customers to ask them about the cloud,” says Bystrak. Not only is the cloud enabling sales of new kinds of solutions and services, it’s creating new kinds of competitors, too. “We’re starting to see telcos, software developers, and systems integrators going after the same clients the VARs and MSPs are serving,” says Bystrak. “In fact, I recently had one large partner of ours who historically did very well selling on-premises equipment and never wanted to hear about the cloud, share with me how one of the carriers took one of his clients with their cloud offering. With our Seeding the Cloud program and other partner services, we’re not just equipping partners with the tools to put together successful sales and marketing programs, we’re using the opportunity as a wake up call, that if they continue putting off selling cloud too much longer, they’re going to start losing customers to these new competitors.”

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