Ingram Micro’s North America Services Division has made its Hosted Collaboration Solution (HCS) available to qualified Cisco channel partners across the US and Canada.
Powered by Cisco, the cloud service has already been available in beta with select Ingram Micro channel partners for several months. It is now set to be demonstrated live at Ingram Micro’s 2013 Cloud Summit April 7-10 in Scottsdale, Ariz.
Featured on the Ingram Micro Cloud Marketplace, the Ingram Micro HCS is, it is said, an end-to-end system that lets partners make subscription-based, “as-a-service” offerings around Cisco Collaboration technologies including Cisco Unified Communications, Cisco Customer Collaboration and Cisco WebEx.
The service is also said to include the full range of Cisco Collaboration functions along with the tools to deliver these to the end customer in an automated, standardised and efficient manner.
Ingram Micro is also taking advantage of the Cisco Advanced Services team to help its channel partners provision and deploy the service, as well as offering round the clock service management, monitoring and Level 2 and Level 3 technical support.
Jay Miley, vice president and general manager, Advanced Technology Division, Ingram Micro US said that by engaging Ingram Micro, and utilising its dedicated Cisco Business Unit and growing Cloud Marketplace to offer HCS-as-a-service, Cisco channel partners could “establish a new recurring revenue stream without having to invest in the upfront capital to get the business moving.”
Although the economic landscape out there is not exactly encouraging, a Cisco report has found that, while CIOs are coming to terms with reducing IT complexity and managing investments while making cuts, overall they are optimistic about tackling typical challenges.
Because of the economic difficulties, companies are trying to find a way to bolster infrastructure and networks using IT. Cisco UK&Ireland’s CTO, Ian FOddering, said in a statement that for 2013, we can expect to see “IT get back to basics”.
In its TechWatch 2013 report, Cisco believes that cost cutting is a clear aim across the board, but so is creating a useful environment where IT can support or drive innovations within business.
“Three key pillars emerge,” Foddering said. These are “Simplify,” “Protect,” and “Change & Grow,” although on our count that’s four. Getting the first two right, Foddering said, is necessary for the rest.
Cisco found that network performance and increased security threats are the major challenges businesses believe they face over the next year. Major priorities are cutting costs, improving security, and keeping the lights on or improving the IT infrastructure. Of the companies Cisco reached out to, over two thirds believe that operations will be based on the most efficient use of skillsets and resources, no matter where they’re located, and for one in seven this trend is already happening.
This too signals a trend in buying, with most companies already having deployed collaborative software and network performance management. Enterprises and SMEs are still putting cash into remote access technology first and foremost.
“Simplifying and protecting an organisation’s infrastructure can only take you so far,” Foddering said. “In order for businesses to prepare themselves for the future, they must be willing to embrace change and use it to drive, rather than inhibit, growth”.
Enormous distributor Avnet has teamed up with both Cisco and NetApp to open up integration services based on FlexPod and ExpressPod architecture to resellers in EMEA.
FlexPod and ExpressPod are data centre design architectures built with virtualisation and the cloud in mind. The idea behind Avnet’s programme is to give partners access to these technologies on a basis that will let them roll out as fast as possible. Included is pre-sales support, single order capability, assembly and testing, and ship completion and tracking. Avnet’s Cisco, NetApp and VMware teams will offer additional support.
Avnet says that by partnering with three top market players it has landed itself in an advantageous position for the region.
The programme will be available in every EMEA country where Avnet has distie rights for Cisco and NetApp – which includes the UK & Ireland, France, Germany, the Netherlands and Denmark.
In a statement, Cisco’s EMEA director for data centre and virtualisation, Ed Baker, said that the opportunity presents resellers with a “great way to position new services and increase customer relevance”.
NetApp’s VP for partners and pathways EMEA, Thomas Ehrlich, said the potential for the technologies is “immense” because the flexibility of the architecture pays off for resellers and customers.