With apologies to Tony Montana’s preferred order of proceedings, Ingram Micro Canada is aiming to show resellers how first, you get the Power, and then, you get the money. The distributor has expanded its deal with IBM Canada to include servers based on Big Blue’s Power architecture, and its focus is on expanding the architecture’s presence in the midmarket.
Under the deal, Power will join Ingram’s existing lineup of IBM products, including storage, software, and services. David Mason, vice president of advanced solutions at Ingram Micro Canada, said the addition of Power both makes Ingram “a well-rounded IBM partner” and illustrates there’s plenty of room to grow.
“With a full line of IBM products, we can work on a full lineup to the midmarket, and we believe we’ve got a real opportunity to help them get into that market,” Mason said.
The distributor will focus building on a channel for Linux on Power in that space, and the distributor feels that adding Power to the mix plays well with the distributor’s existing enterprise storage authorization from Big Blue, earned about a year ago.
Kevin Forster, senior sales manager for advanced solutions at Ingram Micro Canada, said there are a few partner profiles that make the most sense for Linux on Power. He said the distributor will target “traditional x86 resellers” with customers seeking high-performance infrastructure for their own clouds and data centres, existing IBM software resellers, and MSPs and others offering their own cloud-based applications or solutions.
Forster acknowledged that the Power sales cycle can be quite different for those used to selling x86 servers, but noted that especially for those who need high performance there’s not much of a cost difference. Still, selling Power into the channel will require some training work — both on Ingram’s and IBM’s part reaching out to partners, and on behalf of partners to customers who might not be aware of Power, and if they are, may perceive it as an enterprise-only technology.
“There’s a lot of education on the product line, where it makes sense, and where it fits in for resellers to invest in it,” Forster said. “It really depends on the markets [solution providers] are in as to whether the Power solution makes sense to them. We’re going to get the education out there, and help them figure it out.”
The distributor actually earned the authorization earlier this year, Mason said, but is looking to go public with it and turning up the volume on the expanded partnership to “make sure we’re ready.”
“This is a good opportunity for us to announce this broadly, to find out where the opportunity lies from a Power standpoint, to go to market as a full authorized IBM partner, to recruit new partners into the IBM suite of products and services, and drive a lot more IBM into the midmarket,” Mason said.
To support the expanded BM portfolio, Ingram is adding internal supports in Canada. Forster said the distributor has already added a dedicated IBM technology solution architect to the Canadian team, and will be adding a market specialist who will focus on identifying the right partners and getting them enabled. The distributor has also recently centralized quoting and ordering across the IBM portfolio, making it easier for solution providers to quote, acquire, and integrate IBM-based solutions for customers.