IBM InterConnect 2015, a new event that connects three popular IBM conferences — Impact, Innovate, and Pulse — will take place at the MGM Grand and Mandalay Bay Convention Centers February 22-26, 2015. This year’s event is projected to draw more than 20,000 attendees looking to better understand the impact of Cloud, Mobile, DevOps and Security on business.
If you’re planning to attend this event, be sure to check out “Simplifying Success in the Cloud with the Ingram Micro Cloud Marketplace,” with Jason Bystrak, Executive Director – North America at Ingram Micro Cloud. I caught up with Bystrak recently to get a few insights and highlights into his upcoming talk.
Q: What’s the most important message you want to convey during your presentation?
Bystrak: VARs need to make the shift from “design and install” to “migrate and manage” if they want to have a successful cloud service practice. IBM channel partners are the perfect audience for this message because they’re among the best in the business at designing and implementing IT infrastructure solutions and managing the IT lifecycle for their clients. But, selling cloud requires different skills many of them lack, such as a service desk and remote management support.
Taking on these new skillsets alone can be daunting for an IT solution provider who’s accustomed to selling and installing on premise IT equipment. That’s where Ingram Micro can help. We have made investments in people, programs, and platforms to augment the skills our channel partners bring to the table, and cost effectively take on data migration and post-sale support allowing them to focus on managing their customer experience in the cloud.
Additionally, our Ingram Micro Service Desk includes level-1 support for our partners’ entire IT environments — on premise and cloud. So, if an end user has a problem with a printer (on premise) or an issue with email (cloud) they call Ingram Micro’s Service Desk (which also can be rebranded with a partner’s name and messaging). In the majority of cases our trained staff will be able to troubleshoot and resolve the issue over the phone. If the problem requires on-site support, we’ll escalate the problem to the channel partner, provide them with the details, and they can resolve it.
Q: How is the escalation process communicated to the resellers?
Bystrak: Depending on the partner’s preferences, we can communicate via phone, email, or text. If they’re an Autotask or ConnectWise PSA (professional services automation) user we can even integrate with their PSA tool and enter a ticket with all the details, so they can more easily and efficiently prioritize their work.
Q: How customizable are the Ingram Micro migration and management services?
Bystrak: We’ve made our services highly customizable because each partner’s needs varies so greatly. For example, some partners only require Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5 pm support, whereas others need 24/7 support to fulfill their SLAs. Some partners need level-1 support only and others need level-2 support as well. We can customize our service to fit each partner’s requirement.
Some of our partners may use our migration or helpdesk services for three to six months as they hire and train employees to fulfill these tasks. Other partners will prefer to use our services on an ongoing basis, so they can focus on more profitable tasks like providing virtual CIO services or network assessments. Either way, the partners that add these services to their businesses are the ones that come to understand selling cloud doesn’t have to be a loss leader. In fact, once an IT solution provider makes the transition to selling cloud services and starts earning monthly recurring revenue, that’s when the light bulb goes on and they realize that running a more profitable business and having less stress are within their grasp.