Ingram cloud partnerships with Trend, N-able go live

Renee Bergeron

Ingram Micro cloud and managed services chief Renée Bergeron

Two new “dashboard” offerings are coming online in the Ingram Micro Cloud marketplace for Canadian solution providers, giving Canadian VARs and MSPs tools to remotely manage client security and infrastructure.

Ingram’s partnerships with Trend Micro and N-able were first announced at the Ingram Micro Cloud Summit in June, but have just now come online, said Renée Bergeron, vice president of managed services and cloud computing at Ingram Micro.

For Ottawa-based N-able, the partnership is also the opportunity to launch a new and different take on its existing “freemium” strategy. Since early 2010, N-able has allowed its existing customers additional “Essentials” licenses and security licenses to be given out free, part of a bid to get 100 per cent of client environments under management. But with the Ingram deal, N-able is offering the distributor’s resellers partners free tools to get them up and running.

Under the deal, Ingram resellers can have access to an unlimited number of free N-central Essentials licenses, five Security Managed for Endpoint licenses, and five Professional licenses. The promotion runs through the end of the year, although it “will be reviewed” after that and may continue, according to N-able CEO Gavin Garbutt.

While offering free versions of its flagship tools to a massive group of solution providers like Ingram’s North American customer base may appear to be a bulk recruitment play, Garbutt says it’s not necessarily so. N-able’s big goal, he said, remains getting “100 per cent IT coverage” for all of the devices on the networks of its solution providers.

“This is less about getting every solution provider in North America adopt N-central than it is about getting every partner to have every customer on the dashboard,” Garbutt said. “We want to make sure we’re enabling solution providers to get that 100 per cent coverage. I’m interested in depth as opposed to breadth.”

To that end, Garbutt said N-able didn’t go out looking for a distribution partner – although it has worked with distributors in selected market internationally for some time, it has not opted for a formal relationship in major markets like North America. Rather, it came around “as a strategic opportunity for channel enablement.”

The addition of N-able to the Cloud Marketplace signals what Bergeron describes as a shift in the managed services market, where MSPs, particularly those with hosting types of services, are adding more and more private cloud solutions to their mix.

While N-able is a new partner for Ingram in North America, the distributor has a longstanding partnership with N-able’s Ottawa-based competitor, Level Platforms That deal remains in place, Bergeron said, because reseller choice is crucial to the success of Ingram Micro’s cloud and managed services businesses.

“Both Level Platforms and N-able fill the general RMM category, but they each have features and functions that differentiate them,” she said.

The Trend partnership has Ingram offering Trend Micro Worry-Free Business Security Services, an on-site of cloud-based toolset and dashboard that allows VARs to manage their clients’ security. Bergeron said in many instance, the move towards the cloud is fuelling additional demand for managed security services.

“For resellers building on-premises security solutions, this is a great first step to delivering cloud services to those customers,” she said.

The distributor also announced availability in the U.S. of Symantec Endpoint Bergeron said it was likely we’ll see that partnership in Canada before the end of 2011.

In all, Bergeron said Ingram has rolled out 11 new vendor partners and 20 new solutions in its cloud marketplace since April, and has been “pretty heads down” when it comes to adding new products. The Ingram Micro Cloud Web site now boasts 27 vendors and 45 new solutions. At its Cloud Summit in June, the distributor announced plans for the next stage of the site to be more transactional, adding the ability to sign up for services to the site. Bergeron said Ingram is “a few days away” from going into a pilot program with a limited set of solution providers, with the plan being a full rollout in the fourth quarter of the year.