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Ingram Micro ties up with Microsoft to launch cloud platform division

Under the partnership, Microsoft Azure, a cloud computing service, will power Ingram Micro's CloudBlue platform.

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The cloud commerce platform is not only used to run Ingram Micro Cloud Marketplace, but also the cloud businesses of many companies, such as O2, Telenor, Telekom Austria and América Móvil.

TECHNOLOGY products distributor Ingram Micro has partnered with Microsoft to launch a new, independent software division, dubbed CloudBlue, last Wednesday.

The division is the result of years of investment worth more than US$500 million, and comprises hundreds of engineering, product management, operations, marketing and sales experts, said Ingram Micro.

CloudBlue will focus on selling its namesake cloud commerce platform and services directly to service providers, including telcos, managed service providers and value-added resellers.

This platform enables the cloud service providers to automate, aggregate and monetise their own cloud and digital services as well as those from third parties.

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Under the partnership, Microsoft Azure, a cloud computing service, will power the CloudBlue platform. Microsoft will also co-sell the platform to new service providers joining Microsoft's Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) programme.

This programme allows partners to expand their business by creating packaged solutions and offering managed services based on Microsoft cloud services.

Richard Dufty, senior vice-president of CloudBlue, said: "The cloud market has reached a tipping point and we are well-positioned to ensure businesses can benefit. We are removing barriers to entry to enable businesses to move quickly and access the growth promised by cloud technologies."

"They need the right solution to automate and accelerate their cloud businesses. With Microsoft Azure powering our CloudBlue commerce platform, our customers will be able to scale faster and deliver to their customers the market leading technologies they need."

The cloud commerce platform already powers more than 200 of the world's largest service provider cloud marketplaces, which collectively represent more than 27 million enterprise cloud subscriptions and over US$1 billion in annual subscription revenue, said Ingram Micro.

For instance, it is not only used to run Ingram Micro Cloud Marketplace, but also the cloud businesses of many companies, such as O2, Telenor, Telekom Austria and América Móvil.

Microsoft and Ingram Micro said they will also collaborate to give more partners and service providers access to a "winning combination of best-of-breed technologies that will deliver tangible business results fast."

Gavriella Schuster, corporate vice-president, One Commercial Partner, Microsoft, said: "Our partnership with Ingram Micro, and their commitment to Azure, will ensure our partners have access to a great set of tools to help accelerate the return on their cloud investments.

"The trusted Azure cloud platform, combined with our CSP program and CloudBlue's expertise in supporting service providers' cloud operations, will enable our customers to maximise their investments in the cloud and grow their businesses."

Several service providers around the world have already begun to take advantage of CloudBlue platform hosted on Azure.

Liquid Telecom has successfully deployed the CloudBlue platform on Azure in South Africa, Zimbabwe and Kenya, with expansion planned throughout Africa later this year, said Ingram Micro.

Furthermore, Cobweb, a cloud solutions provider in the United Kingdom, announced that it has migrated its CloudBlue platform to Azure for the large-scale provisioning of Microsoft Office 365 and other third-party solutions.