IT tech distributor Ingram Micro has launched a marketplace for cloud services in Europe in a bid to bolster its appeal to channel partners, many of which are increasingly offering their products as-a-service. The move is aimed at making its proposition in the cloud economy more compelling, particularly as other traditional IT vendors and cloud incumbents move in on reseller turf.
The Cloud Marketplace, which handles billing and service deployment for a range of services offered by cloud vendors, is already up and running in the US. But the most recent announcement will see the platform launch imminently in France, the Netherlands, and the UK.
The company said it plans to launch the marketplace in Belgium, Italy, Germany, Spain, and Sweden in the second quarter of 2015.
In prepared remarks the company said it wanted to enable channel partners to more effectively sell their cloud wares to clients, and in particular, exploit what Ingram sees as a growing opportunity in the SME market for resellers. With the Cloud Marketplace, channel partners can manage the complete end-customer subscription lifecycle from a single, automated platform, provided and supported by Ingram Micro, the company said.
“For our channel partners, enabling businesses to operate in a hybrid environment that includes cloud-based solutions is as much about business transformation as it is about technology,” said Carl Alloin, executive director Europe, Ingram Micro Cloud. “Our Cloud Marketplace was designed to help channel partners quickly scale as they seek to expand their footprint and profitability in the cloud.”
Ingram is among a growing number of resellers refitting their channel models for the cloud (Arrow is another big one in Europe that recently launched a cloud app marketplace), in part because other traditional vendors and cloud service providers are starting to threaten their role in the market. Vendors like IBM, which launched its cloud service marketplace last year, are much more willing to cooperate with other vendors they would otherwise compete with at different levels of the stack, while cloud incumbents like AWS are attracting a range of other software and service providers to its fast-growing ecosystem.