The COVID-19 pandemic is impacting different businesses in the channel in different ways, and sometimes in different ways at different times in different parts of the business. But for Ingram Micro Canada’s cloud business, it’s business as usual — and even faster than before.
“Revenue is on a rocket-ship,” said Greg Onorpjenko, director of the cloud business for Ingram Micro Canada. The cloud business is up 83 percent year-over-year, up from the 75 percent YOY growth it notched last year.
That growth has been powered by a couple of fronts. One — collaboration tools like Microsoft Teams, Zoom, and Google Meet, is no surprise. These tools have been widely heralded as one of the biggest technology stories of the pandemic era. But another front, Infrastructure-as-a-Series and other data centre-replacement technologies is a bit more surprising a growth driver. Onorpjenko said the distributor is “seeing an acceleration” in that area.
“If [companies] weren’t already interested in the advantages of Azure, AWS and the like, it’s been highlighted now because people can’t go on-premise,” he said. “They’re interested now.”
The distributor has added some big new vendors in the recent past, with the previously-announced deal with Google to bring GSuite to the marketplace coming online in July. Onorpijenko said plans are on pace to get the Google Cloud Platform online in the marketplace for the first quarter of 20121. Google still “needs some time to develop its platform for distribution,” Onorpijenko said.
Ingram also announced a pact with Salesforce to offer its SMB-focused Salesforce Essentials package. Onorpjenko said Salesforce is “getting really serious” about the small business space, and predicted Ingram and its channel partners would be a great amplifier of that effort. That, he said, could in turn lead to more of the cloud-based software pioneer opening up to distribution.
“If we can do go a good job of getting them into that space, this is the tip of the iceberg for us,” he said, noting that “business applications, in general, are a big opportunity for us.”
Like so many other industry events this year, Cloud Summit went to a virtual affair this year, recently wrapping up a week-long event that featured more than 1,500 partners worldwide, including more than 400 Canadian partners in attendance.
One of the highlights of the event was a “fireside chat” event that in one swoop displayed the distributor’s unique position in the cloud ecosystem, as it hosted channel executives from the cloud businesses at Google, Microsoft and Amazon.
“We were quite fortunate to get their channel leaders lined up at the same place and the same time for a ‘Clash of the Titans’ game show event,” Onoprijenko said.
The Canadian cloud leader also joined Ingrams worldwide and North American cloud leaders, Nimesh Davé and Tim FitzGerald respectively, for the main stage presentation, and crowned its 2020 partners of the year. CDW Canada was named Most Valuable Partner, OS4 Technologies earned IaaS Rock Star of the Year, Broadview Networks was named Marketplace Growth Partner of the Year, and ESW was named the Canadian Cloud Rookie of the Year.
“As far as virtual events go, it was as a great an event as we could have hoped for,” Onoroprijenko said of the virtual Cloud Summit experience.
Ingram Micro Canada also brought home some accolades of its own over the last month, taking Microsoft Canada’s Indirect Partner of the Year away, and the distributor’s marketing team earned the Modern Channel Impact Award for best-in-class channel marketing.
While noting that the pandemic has everyone “being more cautious in managing hiring and investment,” Onorpijenko said the Canadian cloud team continues to “carefully eye our next steps,” with familiar goals — expanding the portfolio and helping more partners get active.
But he said that in the near future, “the biggest part” of the new investments for the cloud business in Canada will be around customer success. Onorpijenko said that goals include increasing the quality of customer support in terms of tools and bolstering partner programs.