Ingram gets into the hardware-as-a-service business

Phoenix – In one of the more surprising announcements at the Cloud Summit, held here, Ingram Micro introduced a hardware-as-a-service (HAAS) program in an effort to add onto its managed services offering.

Ingram’s strategy with HAAS is to offer the channel no upfront cost for hardware/software/cloud services packages. Ingram has partnered with Lenovo and HP for the introduction of the HAAS service, but Renee Bergeron, vice president of managed services and cloud computing, Ingram Micro North America, told CDN that more hardware vendors will be featured throughout the year.

The biggest question on HAAS from a Canadian perspective is how it will compare to Larry Keating’s No Panic Computing, a notebook-as-a-service offering launched back in 2008. Ingram Micro Canada president Mark Snider said the difference is flexibility. For example, solution providers can get credit lines outside of their regular way of doing business, Snider said.

He added that as VARs transition to cloud Ingram is presenting everything as a package and HAAS will have back up, lifecycle management, software upgrades, and security.

“They can package it as they want it for the customer and meet their unique needs, but in a service approach. Canadian customers have been asking Ingram for a hardware-as-a-service offering,” Snider said.

Paul Hoffman, the senior director of cloud technology solutions for Ingram Micro, said the HAAS offering will be flexible as it can be billed in a weekly, monthly or yearly fashion.

“HAAS will give solution providers cash preservation and predictable expenses and they will not be locked into a three-year hardware lifecycle,” Hoffman said.

The plan for HAAS moving forward is to offering more than 100 bundled solutions through HP and Lenovo. Some of these solutions may have a cloud-based VDI or collaboration solution from Box, which just signed on to Ingram Micro’s Cloud Marketplace portfolio.

Tom Ward, the vice-president of marketing for No Panic Computing (NPC) said the announcement of the Ingram Micro HAAS program legitimizes the managed services model that NPC pioneered in 2008.

Larry Keating of manufacturer’s Representative company Keating Technologies came up with the concept of notebook-as-a-service back in 2008 and was lauded as an innovator in creating a new way to managing hardware assets.

“We don’t have a lot of Ingram’s details yet, but this model that we pioneered allows the channel to reduce low-value activities and is very profitable. This along with NPC can only benefit the channel,” Ward said. Ward also agreed with Hoffman’s assessment that the as-a-service model offers customers expertise, efficiencies and best practices all in a monthly fee. cloud vendors in its portfolio.

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Paolo Del Nibletto
Paolo Del Nibletto
Former editor of Computer Dealer News, covering Canada's IT channel community.

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