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Ingram Micro to launch ‘Cloud University’

Regional VAD plans to certify partners around cloud offerings

Ingram Micro to launch ‘Cloud University’
Baghdadi says on of the challenges for resellers looking to play in the cloud services market is the sales mindset.

Ingram Micro's Aptec, a regional VAD, has revealed that it's in the process of launching the Ingram "Cloud University", a dedicated educational initiative aimed at training and getting partners certified in the cloud segment.

The distributor said it is running a number of training programmes and is finalising the launch of the Ingram Cloud University in the Middle East and Africa (MEA).

According to Aptec, it will offer three levels of certification namely Silver, Gold and Platinum, and partners will be able to take courses on-line and access a large selection of material including videos, recorded webinars, course material and presentations. In addition, the distributor said the courses will be made available in multiple languages.

Dr Ali Baghdadi, senior vice president and CEO, Middle East, Turkey and Africa (META) at Ingram Micro, said the company has decided to help partners in the region to accelerate the adoption of cloud services by offering training to them so that they can develop expertise in this segment. "As one of the authorised IT training providers in the region, we have identified cloud as a key area where we need to develop expertise and skills in the regional channel," he said.

Baghdadi said one of the challenges for resellers looking to play in the cloud services market is the sales mindset. "Clearly, selling an on premise licence has a bigger value, hence sales people remuneration and commissions may appear to be more attractive," he observed.

He added that it is critical to revise the sales commission structures or to have dedicated teams for cloud sales within partner businesses. "The commitment of management at end user level is fundamental to cloud services taking off and being successful in MEA," he said.

He pointed out that through the Cloud University initiative, the company has already developed a new commission structure which it uses internally. "These can be based on compensating for yearly contracts even if the customer is paying monthly. Many vendors have adopted similar programmes. We will guide and advise partners as part of our training programme," he said.

Apart from the training focus, Baghdadi said the company is also in the process of launching an Ingram Micro cloud platform in the region, which will be a 24 x 7 advisory and support service offering available for free to resellers, which they can sell to their end user customers. "The service will cover all products on our platform," he added.

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