NASHVILLE, TENN. – As Microsoft Canada readies two data centres for launch in the Canadian market (early 2016) the software powerhouse has confirmed a partnership for the two new facilities with Ingram Micro Canada.
Harp Girn, the newly appointed SMB leader for Microsoft Canada, told CDN that this will be one of many partnerships for the two data centres. It will service a large part of the customers who have data residency issues. Partnering with Ingram Micro Canada will help accelerate this motion, which will create more cloud solution providers.
“The two companies are intertwined now because of the cloud,” Girn said in an interview during the Ingram One show.
Mark Snider, the president of Ingram Micro Canada, said Canadians are moving past the data residency issue more everyday. The Ingram Cloud Marketplace will be aligned to the new data centres in Toronto and Quebec City. One of the new tools Ingram will be offering is a single cloud portal for ordering and billing to end users.
“This tool will help with multiple solutions and multiple bills and it can still be delivered on the partner’s paper. This lessens the complexity,” Snider said.
Currently Microsoft Canada has been servicing approximately 80,000 customers on cloud without local data centres. Girn said the Ingram partnership will open up the marketplace and enable customers to make bigger investments in cloud.
Meanwhile Ingram plans to provide more resources to the channel that will include an increase in headcount for technical architects. This will mean Microsoft Canada and Ingram Canada working together as virtual teams.
“We’ll have more integrated teams to unlock the customer demand and we want to be bullish with more technical architects. Let’s face it cloud adoption is not high in Canada as it is in other parts, but this can be the spark it needs,” Snider said.
Ingram Micro Canada has also won the Microsoft Excellence in Operations Gold level award.
Sonia DePiero, the director of business operations & software licensing for Ingram Canada, was instrumental in capturing this award, Snider said.
According to Snider, the licensing team worked as consultants and were more proactive in quickening the turnaround time and managing renewals.
“From a customer standpoint they are demanding a lot more than price and availability from us. They want knowledge because they believe cloud is a revenue opportunity. Our value is education. There is margin to be made in cloud solutions beyond just auto-renewing. What we have done here has positioned solution providers as a leader in cloud instead of working on price,” Snider said.
DePiero said at the Ingram One show that after Ingram switched back to a Canadian country model the software licensing became a bigger part of the portfolio. “We decided to focus on sales enablement and what was best for the Canadian customer. We wanted to be the local quarterbacks,” she said.
In 2015 so far Ingram has processed approximately 65,000 invoices and 90,000 quotes. “We are now subject matter experts,” DePiero added.