At the recent Get Connected event during Cloud Summit X, Ingram Micro unveiled several new innovations designed to help both technology partners and independent software vendors (ISVs) do more with Cloud Marketplace.
They include Ingram Micro Connect, an easy-to-use, self-service onboarding module that automates the distribution lifecycle for ISVs; and the Sales & Marketing Hub, which provides technology partners with sales enablement resources and digital marketing tools.
Tarik Faouzi, VP of cloud product management at Ingram Micro, explained that market dynamics have changed in the last four years. Now, channels, or the methods and players involved in getting products to end customers, have become their own ecosystem, which includes distributors, VARs/MSPs, service providers and ISVs.
“When you are a vendor or an ISV, reaching the market can be cumbersome,” Faouzi said. He added that Ingram Micro’s goal was to help ISVs reach all their desired channels with only a handful of touchpoints.
Ingram Micro Connect
Ingram Micro Connect further standardizes and streamlines the entire product lifecycle to launch in marketplaces more quickly. It includes fast account creation and approval, guided wizards to define subscription plans and pricing, selection of more than 20 marketplaces, and self-service tools for the creation of sales and marketing materials to promote to and enable resellers.
David Wippich, CTO and SVP of Ingram Micro, laid out Ingram Micro’s strategic vision, which includes CloudBlue, its hyperscale digital platform, and access to an infinite ecosystem. He said that to quicken the business process for ISVs, the company looked at models that were fast, such as iTunes and Google Play. They built Connect with the same speed in mind, so ISVs can self-onboard and receive connectors to their APIs, saving engineers who work for ISVs from having to spend time building connectors.
“You have to cover the technology, the business and the go-to-market. And with Connect, we’ve done that entire piece.”
—David Wippich, CTO and SVP, Ingram Micro
Sales & Marketing Hub
The Sales & Marketing Hub gives resellers self-serve collateral and tools to increase sales opportunities and revenue. It includes a catalog of products and solutions, standardized playbooks, industry insights, customizable sales assets, and self-serve marketing automation tools.
Another purpose of the Hub is to raise awareness of other products besides the major ISVs without causing friction between the products, according to Faouzi. Newly added products will automatically be featured on the Hub’s homepage, thereby highlighting niche products as well as the major players in the ISV space.
“One of the key principles of the Hub is connecting ISVs to resellers.”
—Locke Truong, head of global product marketing, Ingram Micro Cloud
Smaller, niche players don’t have the marketing budgets of larger ISVs and spend 30% of their budget on sales and marketing compared to product development (25%), according to SaaS Capital. These niche players can use the Hub to produce their own marketing content and sales enablement materials, reducing costs and time while still creating quality marketing campaigns and assets.
“What you put in is what you’re going to get out of it,” Truong explained. “The better the content, the better you’re going to train those sales folks.”
So far, the Hub has launched in the U.S. as well as the META (Middle East, Turkey and Africa) region. More regions are set to gain Hub functionality by July.
Executive panel highlights
The event also included a presentation on how to leverage the channel to grow your business by MSP consultant and author Erick Simpson and a panel on joining Cloud Marketplace and the CloudBlue ecosystem, featuring executives from DocuSign, Telefónica, T-Mobile and Dropsuite. Panelists echoed the sentiment of how digital transformation and automation can help both service providers and ISVs reduce costs.
“We are selling services that are really low-margin. If we don’t do it efficiently, we are losing money. So we need to automate services to be able to sell in a cost-effective way.”
—Lorena de la Flor, head of global cloud SaaS, Telefónica
The talk concluded with a Shark Tank event in which ISVs pitched their products to the executive panel in 5-minute increments, similar to the TV show of the same name. The winning product was Pickit, an easy-to-install add-in that gives you access to photos, icons, clipart and slide designs right inside PowerPoint.
Log in at us.cloud.im to start taking advantage of Cloud Marketplace’s new features. If you have any questions, contact your sales representative. Plus, be sure to visit the Cloud Summit X site to see numerous videos, presentations and photos from the event.