Ingram Micro Offers Solutions, Resources, Support for New Vblock Infrastructure Packages

Distributor to provide required designs, products, training, education and certification to eligible channel partners.

December 11, 2009

D.H. Kass

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Distributor Ingram Micro Inc. has made available to its eligible solution providers the reference designs, products and support necessary to sell infrastructure packages associated with the Vblock architecture under the Virtual Computing Environment Coalition formed last month by Cisco Systems Inc., EMC Corp. and VMware.

Ingram said that it is the first distributor to line up all the required resources to sell the so-called Vblock Infrastructure packages, a series of pre-configured and tested solutions that bonds elements from the founders’ data center offerings into a more cohesive, efficient and flexible product.

The goal is to help customers saddled with mixing and matching equipment from a variety of vendors locate simpler, more cost effective answers to build virtual data centers and private computing clouds.

About 2,500 of Ingram’s channel partners that work with Cisco, EMC and VMware will receive access to training and support required to deliver the Vblock architecture solutions.

Keith Bradley, Ingram North America president, called the VCE a “significant business proposition for the IT channel,” and said that the distributor’s long-standing relationship with Cisco and its existing associations with EMC and VMware placed it in a favorable position to get out of the gate early on the virtualized solutions.

“Our existing working relationship with EMC and VMware, combined with more than a decade of experience enabling partners to succeed with Cisco’s complete solutions portfolio, allows us to outpace the competition and deliver a full go-to-market advantage for virtualized solutions not available from any other distributor partner right now,” Bradley said.

Ingram said it will tap the support resources and expertise of its Cisco Business Unit and Infrastructure Technology Solutions (ITS) division.

The distributor launched its dedicated Cisco business unit at the beginning of this year, shortly after the vendor announced its Unified Computing System. The group consists of some 40 people spread across account management, marketing and market development teams.

Officials said that the two groups together handle more than 90,000 technical support calls and process nearly 400,000 orders annually for Cisco.

The distributor’s Cisco business unit and its ITS division will provide channel partners with training and education focused on the business value of virtualized solutions.

Bradley said that the Cisco BU and the ITS unit currently support more than 400 channel partners who fit the profile for handling the Vblock Infrastructure packages, commanding expertise in IP switches, WAN connectivity, desktop virtualization, NAS appliances, security and infrastructure technologies.

Ingram has designated a team of technical support and sales consultants to provide pre-sales support to solution providers for the Vblock Infrastructure packages, and the distributor said it will offer training associated with the technical certifications required to sell them.

Ingram said that already it has conducted 350 onsite training sessions and 270 enablement trainings for partners.

Entry-level and mid-range Vblock configurations featured

In addition, Ingram’s VPN Dynamics subsidiary, a provider of security products training and services, will offer Vblock technical training and certification support for engineers and data center technicians.

One Ingram solution provider, Boice.net, said that Ingram’s support resources have helped it to build a successful data center practice.

“The Ingram Micro team has been a growth catalyst for our Cisco, EMC and VMware business over the last two years,” said Bill Hall, chief executive at Boice.net, a New Albany, IN-based solution provider.

“By tapping into Ingram Micro’s ITS division, the continued support of their experienced sales team as well as its field sales engineers, Solution Centers and custom configuration services, we’ve established a thriving data center practice that truly sets us apart from other solution providers,” he said.

The distributor also said that it plans to highlight the Vblock 0, an entry-level configuration supporting 300 to 800 virtual machines, and the Vblock 1, a mid-range configuration supporting 800 to 3,000 virtual machines, at its Solution Centers in Santa Ana, CA and Buffalo, NY early next year.

“These efforts are just the tip of the iceberg,” Bradley said. “There’s much more to come from Ingram Micro in 2010,” he said.

TAGS: virtualization,Cisco,Vblock infrastructure,Virtual Computing Environment,Ingram Micro

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