Enhanced Odin platform highlights Ingram Micro WPC cloud messaging to Microsoft partners

In addition to the Odin enhancements, Ingram Micro is emphasizing the relevance of their new referral program for Advisors, in the wake of Microsoft’s announcement that the program is being sunsetted.


Renee Bergeron, vice president of worldwide cloud computing at Ingram Micro

TORONTO – Today at the Microsoft Worldwide partner conference here, Ingram Micro is announcing the 7.0 version of its Odin Service Automation platform. It’s part of the messaging around cloud the distributor, a Diamond sponsor of the event that is fresh off its win as Microsoft’s 2016 Distributor Partner of the Year, is offering to the Microsoft partners in attendance.

“We have a unique value proposition for partners, with a spectrum of solutions for the whole range of partners, from small mom and pops who don’t want to invest much, to very large hosters,” said Renee Bergeron, vice president of worldwide cloud computing at Ingram Micro. “We can help them with our platforms like Cloud Marketplace and Odin, and our commercial relationships and broad portfolio. Partners can decide to work with us only for the platform, or also leverage our catalogue of cloud services or use a hybrid model. No one else offers this in the market. Competitors in distribution sell their catalogues, but partners can’t integrate their own offerings. Software competitors have a platform, but not the commercial relationships we have. Our unique advantage is this value proposition where we can do all these things, to help partners of all sizes through a spectrum of solutions to go to market the way they want to.”

Ingram Micro acquired the Odin Automation platform from Parallel Holdings late last year, after licensing the technology as the foundation of the Ingram Cloud Marketplace since 2013. Odin’s flexibility allows Cloud Service Providers (CSPs) to quickly bring new services to market, by leveraging the complete catalog of platform-ready services, and maximize revenue by upselling and cross-selling integrated cloud solutions through multi-sales channels and resellers.

“With this 7.0 release of Odin Automation, we are introducing compelling new features,” Bergeron said. “These include a new customer control panel, where the partner manages subscriptions, with a new user interface and functionality. We are also adding new payment plug-ins, among a bunch of new features being showcased at the event.”

Ingram Micro’s Microsoft cloud business increased significantly following its making Azure available on Ingram’s Cloud Marketplace in the U.S this spring through the Microsoft CSP program.

“Since we did this, the reseller no longer has to manage coupons – it’s all managed through the marketplace,” Bergeron said. “We have seen Azure CSP sales take off in last two months since we launched this. In June, we added over 100,000 seats on our marketplace, and massive adoption here is part of that.”

Ingram Micro is also emphasizing the immediate relevance now of the referral program it announced in April at its Cloud Summit.

“Microsoft has clearly been viewing their CSP platform as the platform of the future,” Bergeron said, with reference to Microsoft’s past whittling down of margins available under their Advisor program, which is for partners who don’t want to do billing and support themselves

“Now Microsoft has announced they are changing the quarterly Advisor fees,” she said. “As of October 2016, they will no longer be paying them on new Advisor subscriptions, and they will pay existing ones only until July 2017. This stream of revenue is going away in the next 12 months.

“We anticipated that they would be ending the Advisor program, so we built out automation, and in April, we launched our referral program, which is a way to move advisory subscriptions to CSP. We expect we will see a lot of partners turn to this now. With the Advisor model being cancelled, those partners who don’t want to do billing and support can monetize their relationships with our referral program. We will oversee the transition and do the billing and support on their behalf.

“Our old news from April has now become very relevant again with the Microsoft announcement,” Bergeron stressed.

Ingram Micro is also announcing that they now have a fully automated way on Odin to migrate telco Syndication subscriptions to CSP.

“Microsoft put this program in place several years ago for telcos to support Office 365,” Bergeron said. “Microsoft is not eliminating this program. But we are seeing telco providers running on Odin who would like to move these subscriptions to CSP to take advantage of the CSP platform. About half of the telcos run on an Odin platform, which gives us insight into how to build programs for them to take advantage of the new CSP platform, and we have built out the automation for them to do the migration.”

Finally, Ingram Micro is announcing a new promotion with data protection vendor Acronis, who became a Preferred Partner of the distributor in the U.S. last November.

“Acronis now has a backup offering for Office 365, which is fully automated on our marketplace,” Bergeron said. “This promotion will give 1 GB of backup for Office 365 for no charge to the partner.”