BOCA RATON, FLA — Ingram Micro announced the launch of CloudBlue, a new “independent software division” of the distributor that brings all of its cloud platform and software development assets together under the same banner.
Over the last five years, the distributor has purchased an array of companies as it builds out its cloud business, including the Odin Automation Platform business from Parallels, Ensim, and Softcom. The CloudBlue brand itself came to Ingram with its purchase of a lifecycle support, recycling, and reverse logistics business by that name in 2013.
The new CloudBlue’s primary mission will be developing and advancing the company’s cloud platform product, which both powers Ingram’s own channel-facing Cloud Marketplace, and the cloud marketplaces of larger service providers and other companies worldwide.
“It’s a combination of $500 million of investments from Ingram Micro Cloud, over 6,000 man-years of blood, sweat and tears from 700 engineers,” said Richard Dufty, senior vice president of cloud platform and services for Ingram Micro Cloud. “We power 27 million cloud seats around the world, more than 10 time any other cloud commerce practice out there.”
At its Ingram Micro Cloud Summit 2018 event here, the distributor announced both the new brand and a strategic partnership with Microsoft, which will see the two companies work together market CloudBlue to service providers. Under the deal, Ingram will also migrate its offerings from a variety of other environments, standardizing on Azure.
Gavriella Schuster, corporate vice president of commercial partner channels and programs for Microsoft, called the deal “a whole new era of business together” for Ingram and Microsoft, who have of course worked together for decades in a more traditional vendor/distributor relationship.
“By re-platforming on Azure, they have and opportunity to take advantage of the scale, the global nature, the hybrid and trusted nature that Azure provides,” Schuster said, adding the partnership would make it easier for service providers to get “onto Azure, into the Microsoft ecosystem, and then get them quickly into the [Cloud Service Provider] program so they can make the hybrid nature of their business work.”
Dufty said the new group already over a third of the world’s service providers as customers, and that he expects that figure to grow, but he stressed the investment by the company is across its cloud ecosystem.
“The goal of CloudBlue, along with the channel Marketplace, is to enable and scale your cloud business, regardless of your own scale, size, or vision,” Dufty said, noting that while it’s got numbers on the SP side, the biggest customer of its platform remains the Ingram Cloud Marketplace.
He said the business unit would look to “remove all the barriers to success” for customers looking to deliver anything and everything as a service, previewing a preview of partnerships around “end-to-end go to market and support services — assisted sales, on-boarding and migrating customers, and ongoing support for existing customers.
“We’ll help you provide that experience they’ve come to know, demand, and expect as a consumer,” he said.
Greg Onoprijenko, director of the cloud business for Ingram Micro Canada, said the formation of CloudBlue will mean more innovation and an acceleration of the development of the Ingram Micro Cloud Marketplace, the distributor’s portal for selling and managing cloud subscriptions, which is of course built on the (now CloudBlue) platform.
“They get all the benefits that come with it, because all of the research and development in that Premium Platform lands in the Cloud Marketplace,” he said.
Onoprijenko also predicted the CloudBlue brand would help the platform business move deeper with distributors and other companies that might consider Ingram a competitor in some aspect of their business, because it’s a more separately structured business unit and because it doesn’t share a name with the distributor. It is, perhaps, more of a psychological change than anything for these customers and potential customers
“I think they’ll be more comfortable investing in our platform now that it’s not go an Ingram Micro logo on it,” Onoprijenko said.