It’s been a long time coming, but Ingram Micro Canada’s cloud business has announced the launch of Google’s G Suite, bringing the distributor on-line with one of the last cloud titans with which it has not been doing business.
Under the deal, Ingram Micro Canada will offer both Google’s G Suite productivity and collaboration tools, and the Chrome cloud management console for Google’s ChromeOS. Greg Onoprjenko, director of Ingram Micro Canada’s cloud business, said the plan is to further round out the Google relationship by adding the Google Cloud Platform IaaS offering in the back end of this year.
“We’ve got all the other big cloud vendors, but Google was that one blank spot, that one empty seat. We’re happy to fill it up,” Onoprijenko said.
The relationship goes live this week but dates back almost a year and a half. According to Onorpijenko, things were moving towards going live last year when Google halted because it redesigned and reintegrated its offerings. Google went live with Ingram Micro US last summer, and Canada is the second market for Ingram and the vendor. Onorpijenko said three additional countries are planned to come under the deal over the course of the year.
“It’s going to be a pretty big year for Google here at Ingram,” Onoprijenko said. “There’s no solution we don’t have now, and we’re really investing here. We expect to be the dominant provider with Google in Canada very soon. We’re taking this very seriously.”
It should come as no surprised that Microsoft’s Office 365, a direct competitor to G Suite, is Ingram Micro Cloud’s most-sold offering, and Onoprijenko agreed that Microsoft has done a great job with the product in Canada, and has “a stranglehold” on a lot of the Canadian market.
But there’s still plenty of room for the Google-offered alternative, he said. There are organizations, and solution providers, that default to the Google stack, and this deal puts them on Ingram’s roadmap.
“There’s always that segment that wants alternatives, or wants to be able to offer additional choices,” Onoprijenko said. “We see it as a huge opportunity here.”
Public sector is frequently Google-friendly as well, especially due to the success of the Chrome platform and Google’s solutions for education in the K-12 market. Onoprijenko said there are also a lot of opportunities with startups and other younger companies that default to Google. And he said there’s been a lot of excitement internally at Ingram Micro about bringing Google on board, even for those outside the cloud business.
The Chrome management platform is one place where the cloud team and the more hardware-centric parts of Ingram’s business intersect nicely, Onoprijenko said, envisioning a joint plan to market the cloud-based software with Chromebooks from a variety of vendors into the education market and the broader channel.
“We’ve got pent-up demand here for sure. Based on the ‘coming soon’ email we sent out, we’ve got more than 50 Canadian partners wanting to know the details of the launch,” he said.
While those details are still being worked out in terms of the supports Ingram will offer, Onoprijenko said the distributor will take a page from its Microsoft Cloud playbook, with plans in place to have an “always-on” campaign behind the cloud offerings the way it has done with parts of the Microsoft business. That will include building awareness, rolling out partner incentives, and offering tools and training to partners, he said.