Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Network Services Go Mainstream

Ingram Micro announced its entry into the network services space on Tuesday 4/9 by adding Time Warner Cable and Centurylink as suppliers.  While some master agents view this as a threat, I view this as exciting news for the following reasons. 

Validation of the Network Services Space
The entrance of Ingram into the network services space validates what we’re doing as an integral part of cloud solutions.  It’s hard to ignore the infrastructure on which cloud solutions are built.  Many VARs and Solution Providers have come to this realization.  Ingram’s launch further validates this fact.

Marketing to the IT Channel
There is no better evidence of the convergence of the IT and Telecom channels than this announcement from Ingram.   Ingram Micro is the world’s largest technology distributor at $37B in revenue.  The launch of network services signals to all VARs and Solution Providers that they need to provide this service to offer a complete solution.  This is has been our message for years and telling that story just got a whole lot easier!

Strengthened Channel Programs
With Ingram pushing network services, carriers and cables will be able to justify additional resources for their channels.  Many carriers have internal battles over what role the partner channel should play and as Ingram and other IT distributors join these network services channel programs we should see more attention and resources given to these channels.

I’m excited by Ingram’s announcement and expect to see more IT distributors follow suit.  One of the traits I've seen in VARs and solution providers is that they seek the best product or service for their customers and are agnostic to distributors unless they see additional value being given.  This is why I think it’ll take more than sheer size to have an overwhelming presence in this space.  It’ll take the right tools, the right support, and some additional value mixed in the equation to dominate in the network services space.   

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