Ingram Micro opens up Cloud Marketplace with APS Connect

Renee Bergeron, senior vice president of global cloud channel at Ingram Micro

Renee Bergeron, senior vice president of global cloud channel at Ingram Micro

PHOENIX, AZ — Ingram Micro already has one of the broadest linecards of cloud applications on its Cloud Marketplace, but with an announcement at today’s Cloud Summit here, the company’s cloud chief says the number of vendors on its marketplace is about to hit “warp speed.”

At Cloud Summit, the distributor introduced APS Connect, a new system that takes advantage of its Odin Automation technology to help ISVs more quickly and easily connect to the Cloud Marketplace. Today, about 70 vendors are connected to the Marketplace via the Odin-based Access Port Standard (APS). While the investment necessary to make those connections to date has been worth it for larger, high-volume cloud offerings, it proved a little too big an investment for smaller ISVs. APS Connect aims to make the Marketplace more attractive to lower-volume cloud service developers by automating as much of the integration as possible, significantly reducing the costs involved.

Renee Bergeron, senior vice president of global cloud channel at Ingram Micro, said that access to APS Connect will mean that more cloud providers will be able to afford to hook into the Marketplace, with a value proposition of “five to ten” days of work to access tens of thousands of Ingram resellers around the world.

“It’s much easier and faster to onboard new solutions, and there’s no big investment up-front, so ISVs can ‘dip their toe’ in first,” Bergeron said. “I expect we’re going to go to hundreds and hundreds [of Markeplace-connected vendors] very quickly.”

That means two things to Ingram solution providers — first, Bergeron said partners should expect to see new vendors onboarded much fasters and get integrated access to more of the pieces necessary to build out new solutions for customers. And secondly, for partners who’ve gone far enough through the cloud journey to produce their own repeatable solutions, APS Connect provides an easy way for them to expose those offerings to a broader channel community in an automated fashion.

APS Connect supports would-be Marketplace vendors through a six-step process, from signing up and naming the offering, through declaring what resources are to be connected, and connecting to their own API. The system then tests the ability of the API to respond to common Marketplace demands — simulating order-taking, new user additions and service provisioning in a sandbox, and once the bugs are worked out, publishing the offering.

APS Connect will produce basic SKUs and offerings. Once ISVs are past the first steps, Bergeron said, they’ll be able to revisit and expand their APS to support multiple tiers of service and other customization offerings.

As APS Connect is baked into Odin Automation, which both runs Ingram’s own cloud marketplace, and supports those building their own marketplace, APS Connect will also aloud cloud service providers and hosters running their own Odin-based marketplace to add their own or third-party offerings to those marketplaces more quickly and easily, as well.