Musings from the Cloud (Odin Service Provider Blog)

Odin Automation Premium: Next Release of Odin Service Automation

The Next Generation Cloud Commerce PlatformDuring the 2016 Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference, Ingram Micro unveiled the availability of Odin Automation Premium, the latest release of Odin Service Automation, reinforcing the global cloud leadership through the expansion of Ingram Micro Ecosystem of Cloud. As a key part of the Ingram Micro Ecosystem of Cloud, Odin Automation Premium empowers worldwide top cloud service providers to deliver and sell cloud services in the digital and cloud economy.Cloud Market Trends and Service Provider OpportunitiesCloud services, mobile, social networking, internet of things, big data, and more—the world is changing fast with disruptive technologies. IDC predicts that the scale-up of digital business strategies will drive more than half of enterprise IT spending within the next 24 months, rising to 60% by 2020. Virtually none of the major digital transformation initiatives is possible in scaled-up implementations without the cloud as the foundation. By 2020, IDC predicts that enterprise spending on cloud services for implementing and managing cloud services will exceed $500 billion, more than three times what it is today.Service providers are facing unique challenges and opportunities in today’s dynamic market, where customers are demanding cloud and digital innovations beyond traditional core businesses. According to a STL Partners report, it is estimated that 34% of telecommunications revenue will come from entirely new digital services by the year 2020. More than ever before, partners are challenged with the need to evolve beyond their traditional business models, and provide distinctive offerings into the rapidly growing cloud and digital services market. The key for success is setting up the right platform, ecosystem, and partnerships that enables you to transform to an agile and modern cloud business.Introducing Odin Automation Premium 7Odin Automation Premium is a highly scalable and flexible cloud commerce automation platform that empowers the top service providers worldwide to offer a breakthrough modern user experience and streamline the end-to-end cloud commerce management. With the new release, Odin Automation Premium 7, you can now take advantage of a more intuitive, brand-new customer control panel, enhanced performance and scalability, and new SDKs (software development kits) for payment plugins and domains. You can elevate customer relationships, run more efficient cloud businesses, and sell more services with innovative scenarios through its advanced modern user experience. The modern user experience of Odin Automation Premium is designed to maximize self-service for end customers, providing productivity improvements for your operations, product managers and sales teams. It can be deployed to support multiple cloud commerce business models with configurable options.With Odin Automation Premium 7, you can also bring new services to the market rapidly by leveraging the complete catalog of platform-ready services, and upsell and cross sell integrated cloud solutions, including Microsoft CSP (cloud solution provider) program services across multi-sales channels and resellers. The platform provides the most comprehensive cloud commerce capabilities that encompass a storefront with eCommerce shopping cart, order management, integrated marketing tools, customer and reseller management, business and financial reports, and modern customer control panels with in-context selling capabilities to increase average revenue per user (ARPU).With Odin Automation Premium 7 you can:Deliver a Breakthrough Modern User ExperienceSimple, intuitive customer control panel delivering brand-new self-service experienceMonetize every interaction with in-context upsellingStreamline on-boarding and customer activation processesAny device, anywhere using tablets and smartphonesBoost customer engagement with real-time notificationsRun a More Efficient Cloud BusinessMore extensible and open payment and domain SDKs and APIsCost effective development of payment and domain plug-ins using PHPDomain SDK new capabilities, DNSSec, immediate availability check, etc.Enhanced performance and scalabilitySell More Services with Innovative ScenariosNew SaaS services with modern user experienceStreamlined adoption process with APS services backward compatibilityShared hosting and VPS modules (coming soon Q4, 2016)Get Started TodayIf you are already using Odin Service Automation:Contact your sales account manager and discuss a plan for upgradePlease join the upcoming webinar, Why Upgrade to Odin Automation Premium 7, offered at the following times:July 20 11 AM PDT/2 PM EDT - Register NowJuly 21 9 AM SGT/11 AM AEST - Register NowAugust 24, September 28 (TBA)If you are a new Odin customer and want to know more about Odin Automation Premium:Visit our website and contact our sales teamSchedule a free business planning workshop with our sales teamFor more information visit our website or watch the new Odin Automation Premium video. 

Cloud Solutions By Department – Who’s Using What?

In our recent article, Cloud Decision Makers – Who’s Calling The Shots, we talked about who’s really making the cloud purchase decisions in an organization. CIOs still have the majority of influence on the cloud purchasing process; however, this is becoming much more collaborative, and the respective heads of marketing, sales, finance, and HR are playing a bigger part.So, what types of cloud services and solutions do each of these departments consider "must-have" business tools to grow and run their business more effectively? Let’s take a look at a few by department.The Sales DepartmentMost sales organizations rely heavily on CRM tools to store and manage their customer contact information like names, addresses, and phone numbers. CRM also enables them to keep track of customer activity like phone calls, email, and more. Historically, an organization would have stored this information on-premise, and often it resided on multiple servers, PCs, and storage devices. The risks of losing this data, or accidentally sharing it with the competition were immense, not to mention the challenges with keeping it updated. Now, an organization can store their CRM data in the cloud using software-as-a-service. Applications are delivered over the Internet, and can be accessed anywhere, anytime, and from any device. This not only saves time, but ensures data is current and secure. An administrator can simply switch off a users access to the data at any time.The Marketing DepartmentThese days most businesses have a social media presence, and are active on social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. These sites allow organizations to share various types of information with their customers and prospects including, their successes, news and updates about their product or services, and even recruit new employees. Managing social media largely falls under the responsibility of the marketing department; however, they need a platform that connects their social media applications with the cloud.The HR DepartmentFor many human resources departments, the move to cloud-based software is inevitable. Tasks like hiring, identifying talent, managing workforces, and payroll are made much easier using cloud applications that consolidate up-to-date information, making it accessible from anywhere, at any time . The cloud also enables organizations to use data to understand their business. Business leaders are asking HR for more strategic input, and cloud technologies are giving them better tools with which to respond.The Finance DepartmentAnalytics, big data, security, and getting information quickly are all top of mind for finance professionals. A CFO can no longer rely solely on spreadsheets to deliver critical information to the business. Cloud computing is a key enabler for transformational change in the finance department, and cloud solutions like file sharing, electronic signing, and payment processing are making a real difference in their daily operations. Furthermore, cloud also delivers financial professionals the scalability and flexibility to meet the changing needs of the business over time.A cloud service provider understands that each business department has its own challenges, and knows which cloud tools and solutions will make them more successful. Their role of ‘trusted advisor’ has never been more important than in the cloud. 

7 Reasons You Need to Attend Microsoft WPC 2016

Are you attending Microsoft WPC 2016 in Toronto? If you’re already familiar with this high-profile event, you know WPC brings together over 15,000 attendees from around the globe for a week of networking and learning—all with the goal of increasing partner profitability and accelerating business growth. If you’re interested in growing your business and strengthening your Microsoft partnership, then WPC is an event you need to attend.WPC 2016, taking place July 10-14, is an action-packed event, leaving you not a minute to spare. With so many sessions to choose from it can be overwhelming, not to mention time-consuming to narrow down the sessions you should attend. In an effort to save you time, we have scouted the conference agenda and identified the top 7 sessions that should be on your schedule:1.  Vision KeynoteSatya Nadella, Microsoft CEO. Satya will kick off WPC 2016 outlining his plans and vision for the coming year. Expect to hear more about hot topics like cloud computing, big data, mobility and Microsoft’s innovation roadmap.2. Profit-Grow-Win. Amplify your business with the Ingram Micro Ecosystem of CloudJoin Nimesh Dave, EVP and Head of Ingram Micro Cloud, as he discusses the pathways to success, profit and winning in the exploding cloud economy, with Ingram Micro’s Ecosystem of Cloud—the most comprehensive portfolio of platforms, cloud services catalog, multi-partner channels, and business transformation tools.3. Partner Theater Session. Todd Carter, Platform Evangelist - OdinFire up your Microsoft CSP Business with a modern customer experience and a comprehensive ecosystem. Envision a strong portfolio of in-demand services centered on Microsoft’s CSP offerings, and fully integrated with your choice of cloud service delivery platform. Join Todd Carter, Odin’s Platform Evangelist, and learn how to realize that vision and deliver differentiated services to get ahead of the competition.4. The Modern Profitable Cloud PartnerThe cloud opportunity is immense and competition is on the rise! Through research with IDC, Microsoft has identified Four Pillars of the Modern Partner that contribute to building a profitable, sustainable cloud business. Join Jen Sieger from Microsoft and Steve White, VP of Channels & Alliances from IDC to learn how to differentiate your cloud business and stand out from the crowd.5. Accelerate Your Business Growth With Microsoft AzureMicrosoft Azure is one of the hottest cloud products. Many top Fortune 100 companies are using it today. Partners who know how it works and how they can scale their business via Azure can become more profitable. Come learn about how you can quickly take advantage of Microsoft Azure, and resources available to help you get started.6. Become An Expert In Maximizing The Lifetime Value Of Your Cloud CustomersIn the cloud, continuous engagement and value-add is key to partner growth and customer satisfaction. Learn new insights on SMB cloud customer behavior and how Microsoft can help partners to build a Customer Lifecycle Management practice, maximize customer lifetime value, and grow revenue.7. Think, Execute, Dominate: The Keys To Visionary LeadershipAre leaders born or made? Former NBA player Walter Bond will take you through what you need to know to be a high-level leader. Learn to create your vision, establish executive presence, and build an aligned organization.The Ingram and Odin team look forward to seeing you in Toronto. Be sure to stop by booth 900 and chat with us about how we can help accelerate your journey to the cloud!   

Introducing the Ingram Micro Ecosystem of Cloud

The world of technology is rapidly changing, and so is Ingram Micro. Innovations such as cloud computing, big data, mobile apps, and social media are now commonplace in the minds of not only the IT department, but also business professionals.As more of their customers' IT infrastructure components migrate to the cloud, service provider partners need to find ways to manage hybrid cloud environments, provide their own cloud services, or resell other cloud provider capabilities. Where do they turn to for help?Don’t worry, we’re making it easier for cloud providers to sell their services to businesses and consumers. By leveraging Ingram’s 1,700 vendor partners, across 160 countries, supported by 27,000 associates, we are building the largest cloud ecosystem in the world.   We start by offering our partners the commercial relationships with leading vendors. Then we integrate all our cloud solutions into a single source, to make it easy to sell and manage cloud services. Next, we help our partners to bundle, tailor and market these solutions, through the Ingram Micro Cloud Marketplace. And finally, we add the icing to the cake, with partner enablement and lead generation programs.Odin, the automation platform powering Ingram’s ecosystem of cloud, enables end-to-end cloud service delivery, including services orchestration. Combine a robust platform, extensive ecosystem, industry expertise and the global reach to support customers everywhere and the end result is SUCCESS. With the Ingram Micro Cloud Marketplace and Odin Automation platform combined, we deliver the technology and expertise that simplifies and accelerates cloud service delivery for partners worldwide.Together, Ingram Micro and Odin provide the only place for service providers to fully manage their cloud business, from discovery to integration, aggregation, provision and consumption. We enable our partners to thrive by lifting their customers’ businesses to the cloud.Want to learn more about the Ingram Micro Ecosystem of Cloud? Check out our short multimedia presentation.    

5 Industry Events You Should Consider

Have you noticed how many IT events there are these days? Hardly a week goes by without a vendor or industry association hosting a conference, get-together, training or enablement session for their partners, customers or members. So many events, so little time!We all know the benefits of attending events, such as networking, keeping up to date with the latest innovations and trends, generating new business contacts, and maybe even finding our next job. But with so many options to choose from, and as many of us develop ‘event fatigue’, how do we know which are the most interesting and valuable industry events to put on our calendar?The good news is we’ve done the hard work for you. Here are 5 industry events we think you should seriously consider attending this year.Microsoft Worldwide Partner ConferenceJuly 10-14Toronto, CanadaMicrosoft WPC brings together over 15,000 attendees from around the globe for a week of networking and learning—all with the goal of increasing partner profitability and accelerating business growth. If you’re interested in growing your business and strengthening your Microsoft partnership, then WPC is a must-attend event.Gartner Catalyst ConferenceAugust 15 -18San Diego, CAGartner promotes this event as providing “practical solutions, actionable advice & principled objectivity in ways you won’t find anywhere else”. Technically focused & committed to pragmatic, how-to content, Gartner Catalyst Conference is designed to leave you with a blueprint for project planning & execution.VMworld 2016August 28 – Sept 1Las Vegas, NVVMworld 2016 is four full days of innovation to accelerate your journey to a software-defined business—from mobile devices to the data center and the cloud.Hosting + Cloud Transformation SummitSeptember 19 – 21Las Vegas, NVThe Hosting + Cloud Transformation Summit is a forum for executives in the hosting, cloud computing, data center, and Internet infrastructure sectors. Hosted by 451 Research, the agenda provides insights and offers practical guidance on designing and implementing effective IT strategies.Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing (GHC)October 19 – 21Houston, TXThe Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing (GHC) is produced by the Anita Borg Institute and touted as "the world's largest gathering of women technologists." The GHC has been around for 20 years, and this year they expect some 15,000 attendees. Last year's conference included tech luminaries such as Hadi Partovi (CEO of code.org) and Sheryl Sandberg from Facebook.Can’t get out of the office? The good news is that many of these events live-stream presentations and key content, so you won’t feel like you’re missing out. Happy eventing! 

Cloud Decision Makers – Who’s Calling The Shots?

Cloud is now the new norm, and businesses, from enterprise to SMBs, are rapidly investing in and adopting cloud services. However, this poses the question, who’s making the decisions on what cloud services they should and will use?Recently we wrote about a growing business trend and challenge, which is cloud sprawl. Cloud sprawl is the uncontrolled proliferation of an organization's cloud services or providers, and typically occurs when an organization lacks visibility into or control over its cloud computing resources. The CIO thinks they know exactly what’s going on in their business, who’s purchasing or downloading and using an application or service, and what they’re using it for. In the meantime, John, the CMO, just signed up with “the coolest CRM app I’ve ever seen, and it's much better than our old application”, and the CIO has no idea. Aside from loss of control, this also presents potential business risks such as unauthorized system access, data integrity and protection.Who’s really making the decisions? IDG's 2015 Enterprise Cloud Computing Survey suggests it's a mixed bag. CIOs still have the majority of influence on the collaborative cloud purchasing process, followed by CTOs and CSOs. However, the keyword here is ‘collaborative’. Historically, in the world of IT, the CIO was employed to evaluate and choose the right technologies, innovations, and solutions for their business. If it was a major capital expenditure or infrastructure purchase then the CEO or CFO may have been involved towards the end of the process for final approval.Now, cloud services and digital innovation evaluations are increasingly taking place around the boardroom table, and the respective heads of marketing, sales, HR, and operations will play a big part in these discussions. What’s more, it’s likely that each of them will have intimate knowledge of the ‘latest and greatest’ cloud disruptive services available on the market. The old adage ‘a little knowledge is a dangerous thing’ has never been truer than in the cloud world, and the CIO is no longer the keeper of all IT knowledge. The organization may even employ a Chief Digital Officer, who must understand the innovations the organization needs in order to compete and thrive in the new digital economy.So, who’s really calling the shots and who should make the decisions? In an enterprise business it’s clear that the role of CIO/CTO will not disappear overnight. They have a strong understanding of the options such as private, public or hybrid cloud versus on-premise solutions, and are often the best people to evaluate these. However, their role is increasingly becoming more collaborative, and decisions on what cloud services to adopt are being heavily influenced across the business.In a small or medium business the role of cloud service provider has never been more important. As more of their customers' IT infrastructure and services migrate to the cloud, the service provider becomes the trusted advisor who guides the business to the new and exciting cloud and digital world.So, who’s calling the shots in your business? 

WHD.usa 2016: There’s a Revolution Coming

Our very own Kellie Green (Regional Vice President, Odin) was on stage today, and spoke about a revolution coming to the hosting industry. Evolving from the dot-com bubble, hosting providers became the foundation of the cloud industry as we know it today. However, the industry has evolved significantly over the past 2 decades, from a focus on traditional website and email hosting services, to VPS, and more recently Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and business applications.Hosters are facing unique challenges in today’s dynamic market, where customers are demanding cloud and digital innovations beyond traditional hosting services. Increased competition and digital disruption from new and emerging players, industry commoditization, and price wars have also created threats for traditional hosting providers.Kellie explained that to be successful in the future, hosters need to become more things to more people, and provide their customers with syndicated services and integrated cloud solutions. New cloud service offerings such as SaaS applications, security, backup and recovery, and mobility are key for hosters to increase revenues, reduce customer churn, and deliver an exceptional customer experience. Hosters will need to move beyond evolving, to revolutionizing their business in order to become a full cloud service provider.   A hosters’ legacy infrastructure and systems may not have the capabilities to deliver this level of service and support. This is where we can help. Odin delivers our hosting partners a more comprehensive cloud business model and platform that enables them to lift their customers businesses to the cloud.Is your platform flexible enough to scale your business? By partnering with Odin and Ingram Micro, hosters can replace their legacy automation and billing systems with a selection of current off-the-shelf solutions, and deliver integrated cloud solutions as a trusted advisor.You can learn more at Odin.com, or if you’re in Phoenix this week come visit our booth (#45) at WHD.usa. 

Managed Service Providers: The Journey from MSP to CSP

A managed service provider (MSP) traditionally oversees a customer's IT infrastructure and/or end-user systems, typically on a proactive basis and under a subscription model. This approach provides the MSP with a monthly recurring revenue stream, in contrast to IT projects that tend to be one-time transactions. However, this arrangement also means they need to provide and demonstrate lifetime customer value.In recent years, many MSPs have seen their business transform to managed, cloud and applications services with higher-margin annuity revenues. Innovations such as big data, mobile apps, and social media are now commonplace in the minds of not only the IT department, but also business professionals. As more of their customers' IT infrastructure components migrate to the cloud, MSPs have had to find ways to manage hybrid cloud environments, provide their own cloud services, or resell other cloud provider capabilities. In other words, MSPs are on a journey to becoming a Cloud Solution Provider (CSP).Cloud is now the new norm, and recent IDC research reveals that businesses plan to increase their cloud services spending from 35% in 2015 to 60% of their total IT spend in 2018. Many service providers wait until their customers are ready before investing in a new area of technology. With the majority of customers now adopting cloud services, it is critical that partners not just adapt, but lead as a trusted advisor to stay relevant to their customer base.Today, with almost 80% of businesses deploying or fully embracing the cloud, and only 8% expressing no interest (down from 21% in 2014) cloud is now an established part of IT delivery (IDC).  How Can Odin Help an MSP Become a CSP?The landscape is transforming rapidly, and we understand the importance of adapting quickly and smartly to meet evolving customer needs and deliver lifetime value. Customers want to partner with a MSP who understands this, and will help them navigate the journey to the new cloud and digital world. However, a MSP’s legacy infrastructure and systems may not have the capabilities to deliver this level of service and support. That’s where Odin comes in. Odin delivers MSP partners a more comprehensive cloud business model and platform that enables them to lift their customers’ businesses to the cloud.Odin Service Automation enables the MSP to deliver end-to-end cloud service delivery and new services, including services orchestration, customer management, and billing automation. With the Odin Service Automation platform, partners can leverage our extensive applications ecosystem of over 500 platform ready services, and sell integrated cloud solutions to their customers.Customers aren’t necessarily looking for MSPs that have their own clouds. Instead, they want MSPs to manage workloads in well-known, reputable, third-party clouds. The Odin Service Automation platform can be deployed in your data center or hosted and managed for you.In addition, we have programs such as our Ingram Micro Cloud Marketplace, Ingram Micro Cloud Store, or Ingram Micro Cloud Private Label, that provide you with turnkey options developed by Ingram Micro on their global deployment of Odin Automation. When combined with the thousands of ISV’s in the Ingram Micro ecosystem of partners, we deliver the most complete range of cloud-based solutions ready to accelerate your digital services transformation in the new cloud economy.Are you ready for your journey to becoming a CSP? Learn more now. 

How Service Providers Can Help Reign in and Manage Your Cloud

Cloud technologies offer today’s SMB crucial opportunities to scale and grow ahead of the competition and have become critical in today’s environment. The Odin 2015 Global SMB Cloud Insights report confirms that SMBs from a variety of sectors are embracing technology by moving business functions into the cloud.  The business applications market valued at $24.2B in 2015 is forecasted to reach $48.3B by 2018. Business applications such as IaaS, web presence and web applications, unified communications are becoming more common and useful to SMBs due to their low initial costs and ability to scale.Our Odin SMB Cloud Insights research also shows that some SMBs are unclear which IT services and applications would best serve their business. Instead, they might receive advice from a colleague or other trusted advisors. Maybe a legacy system is in need of a fix so they search the internet or hire a local IT professional for a solution.However, the combination of uncertainty and individuals adding different cloud services means your cloud may quickly grow out of control if not managed. An out of control cloud can spread like wildfire as cloud programs spread out across a business, and can be a big headache for IT. For instance, an IT department may have signed up to one content relationship management program, while an executive signed up to another. Both are being utilized, but not in any coordinated fashion.One way to avoid this situation is to ensure the various cloud applications are coordinated and held to similar security and integrity standards, especially as the business’s infrastructure continues to grow. This is where a service provider can help by guiding their SMB customers in understanding the risks of cloud sprawl. They can also use their market insight and trusted relationship to provide a more unified experience by crafting offers that fulfill their customers’ needs above and beyond what the customer is asking for. This could look like a bundle of broadband, business voice, and productivity apps that scales per user and is billed by the seat – one that lessens cloud growing pains, while still allowing the SMB to increase revenue and productivity.Managing cloud instances, so as to avoid cloud sprawl and the costs associated with cloud misuse, is a sought after IT goal. It requires the combination of best-in-breed technologies and services to enable provisioning, billing automation, and enabling the monetization of many disparate services. While some of these services are core to the service provider, others can be syndicated from a third-party and may reside in either the service provider’s or a third-party’s data center (e.g., Microsoft Office 365).Service providers can help overcome some of the hurdles associated with taming cloud sprawl. They can do this by not only enabling and automating solutions from channel-friendly partners while continuing to participate in the bigger IT market with their own services or value-adds, but also utilizing automation and management tools that:Provide a single point of reference for managing and automating internal activities like cloud provisioning, monitoring, and billing users and services to keep everything in one place for auditing.Centralize control via one central unified control panel for access to multiple cloud providers and geographies. Enabling IT to deploy applications across multiple clouds used within their business, while seeing what cloud services are being used and by how much.Streamline processes and efficiency to create scale by providing cloud enablement for a broad range of services and cloud-ready applications. The ability to offer and manage these side-by-side across a wide range of cloud management platforms and virtualization technologies enables IT to quickly expand service offerings, scale capacity, replace legacy systems that are inhibiting growth, and serve more customers regardless of their technology preferences.Aggregate and organize the appropriate services and functions enabled for each user type and their use cases. The ability to set different levels of permission enables IT admins to manage users and application subscriptions to prevent unregulated access and usage. Avoiding the issues associated with having multiple versions of similar applications purchased and used, but not in any coordinated fashion.The need to manage the cloud and avoid an increasing sprawl of disconnected services has never been greater. Service providers can be a trusted advisor, simplifying the complexity of the cloud as SMBs move to an even bigger cloud model, by not only providing the best-in-breed cloud services and bundles, but the tools to transform cloud computing utilization and management.  

Odin Service Automation Azure CSP Solution: A Game Changer

IDC recently predicted that worldwide spending on public cloud services will reach over $141B (USD) in 2019. According to IDC research, SMBs plan to increase their cloud services spending from 35% in 2015 to 60% of their total IT spend in 2018.Cloud is changing the game, and Odin and Microsoft partners are in a unique position to capitalize on this opportunity.Microsoft Azure is one of the fastest growing cloud platforms. Azure provides partners with the opportunity to deliver a wide range of solutions, from reselling Azure services, to providing complete managed service offerings and unique bundles on top of Azure services.With Odin, partners can capitalize on these new opportunities unlocked by Azure via the Microsoft Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) program, while owning the end-to-end customer lifecycle through the provisioning, billing, and support of Microsoft cloud services.Odin Azure CSP solutions enable you to easily expand your portfolio with Azure through the Microsoft CSP program, and maximize profit by bundling Azure with your own value-added managed services. Odin enables you to sell Azure with your own offerings and third party services through an online storefront, and send invoices directly to customers. Additionally, it also allows your customers to monitor their resource consumption directly through an easy-to-use control panel.The key capabilities and benefits of Odin Azure CSP include:Automate end-to-end services orchestration, customer and reseller management, and billing for Azure in CSP.Code-free with proven CSP APIs integration for Azure services.Flexible pricing, promotion, and multi-currency enablement.Direct billing to customers—supporting pay-as-you-go models.Customer self-service: browse up to 6 months of detailed usage history and costs via a customer control panel.The Odin Service Automation platform empowers you to accelerate your time-to-market and streamline with the automation of service orchestration, billing, and the end-to-end customer lifecycle management of Microsoft Azure services, in conjunction with other CSP services, partner-owned solutions, and third-party services from Odin’s APS catalog of over 500 solutions. Odin already empowers more than 2.2 million Office 365 and Hosted Exchange users worldwide through our platform. ““Odin’s solutions empower partners to more quickly adopt CSP and begin to create differentiated offers for our mutual customers, while helping them on their cloud journey.”” — Phil Sorgen, Corporate Vice President, Worldwide Partner Group at Microsoft For more information, please visit www.odin.com/csp.Note: Odin Azure CSP solution is currently available to CSP 1-tier partners, and CSP 2-tier distributor supporting capabilities will be available soon.  

Why Attend WHD.usa?

Are you looking to take the next step in your hoster journey? Seeking new ways to tailor your cloud offerings to the customer? Striving to deliver a lifetime of value in the new cloud economy? If you answered yes to any or all of these, then join us at WHD.usa and be inspired to take on a new cloud business model that meets your customers evolving needs.From Europe to Asia and every place in between, WHD has grown to become the largest series of events in the hosting and cloud industry. Last year over 800 international visitors attended WHD.usa 2015 to see and hear about the latest innovations. This year’s WHD.usa is set to be even bigger and better, with an expanded agenda, bringing together leading industry experts for high-value presentations, networking, informative panel discussions, and breakout sessions.WHD.usa is taking place in Phoenix, Arizona, at the Sheraton Wild Horse Pass, May 25-26. Register now and take advantage of free registration when you use code US165WT.Top 5 reasons to attend:Listen. Check out Odin’s keynote presentation by Kellie Green, Regional Vice President at Odin, about a revolution coming to the hosting business model. Evolving from the dot-com bubble, hosters became the foundation of the cloud industry as we know it today. However, the industry has evolved significantly over the past 2 decades, from a focus on traditional websites and email hosting services, to VPS, and more recently Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and business applications. To be successful in the future, hosters will need to move beyond evolving, to revolutionizing their business to become a full service provider. Kellie will outline Odin’s vision to help partners develop a more comprehensive cloud business model that meets their customers evolving needs.Learn. Register to attend informative breakout sessions from Odin. We will be discussing topics like, How to accelerate your cloud business with Odin for Microsoft CSP Program, Design winning cross and upsell strategies with the help of Odin SMB Cloud Insights and predictive analytics, and APS - Your gateway to a global cloud. These sessions will deliver the information you need to tailor your cloud offerings to your customers and help accelerate your cloud business.Discover. Gain insights into how the Odin Service Automation platform enables businesses to sell and provide cloud services, and as the leading software in the industry, is leveraged by some of the world’s largest telecommunications providers, carriers, and hosting companies. Odin will be on-site to exchange a spectrum of technical information and insights about the latest cloud management technologies. This includes Odin Automation Essentials, a comprehensive, downloadable cloud services automation solution that empowers cloud providers to efficiently provision, manage, and sell both cloud and self-hosted services through a single platform. With Odin Automation Essentials, partners can easily market, sell and bundle Microsoft Office 365 and other CSP (Cloud Solution Provider) services with their existing products while maintaining full control of the cloud services delivery, from integration with existing provisioning systems to deploying custom domain and payment plugin options. Learn how to start your cloud business in five hours with Odin Automation Essentials.Expand. See how the complete vision of the Odin and Ingram Micro Cloud ecosystem can help accelerate your cloud business. For example, the Ingram Micro Cloud Marketplace, one of the world’s largest cloud marketplaces, powered by the Odin Service Automation platform, delivers the full range of cloud and digital opportunities to our partners, enabling them to thrive in the new cloud economy.Benefit. Take the time to meet and network with the Odin and Ingram Micro Cloud team while you connect with your industry colleagues, form new alliances, and make new friends.Register now to secure your spot.  

Are You Ready for the Cloud?

As I am sure you have noticed, cloud computing is steadily permeating throughout businesses across the world. The adoption of cloud computing is so widespread that IDC predicts worldwide spending on public cloud services will grow at almost six times the rate of overall IT spending growth – from nearly $70 billion in 2015 to more than $141 billion in 2019. And, according to recent Odin research, SMBs (small and medium business) are rapidly riding the cloud wave, and implementing new cloud based business applications such as file sharing, backup and storage, and online accounting.This is all positive news for both the businesses that already realize the numerous benefits of cloud, and want to implement their own solutions, and the cloud service providers and vendors who make this happen.  However, in order to get the ‘rubber to hit the road’ we need the right regulatory environment, infrastructure, and economic conditions. Wouldn’t it be great to have a report that showed us by country how ready we are to adopt and implement the cloud?The Asia Cloud Computing Association (ACCA) has done just that. Since 2011 the ACCA have published their annual Cloud Readiness Index (CRI) report. The study measures the cloud readiness of Asia Pacific (APAC) countries along 10 parameters, including broadband quality, cyber security and privacy, the government regulatory environment and freedom of information.  It’s a fascinating and informative read, and this year’s index presented some interesting findings, as well as a few upsets. Here are some key highlights from this year’s CRI:Hong Kong leads the APAC region in cloud readiness. This year, Hong Kong jumped 4 spots on the index to bump Japan from top rank. According to the CRI, addressing data privacy matters was the single most important factor in moving Hong Kong up the ranks. This is particularly relevant because we know many SMBs are reluctant to move their information and data to the cloud until they are confident it is safe and secure.Australia has lost its edge as a low risk location for data centers. The CRI shows that while economic stability, world-leading freedom of information and cyber security continue to make Australia an efficient and low-risk market for data centers and cloud services, Australia has struggled to keep pace with its peers in the Asia Pacific region. Broadband quality is below average for the region, and while the Australian government is rolling out a national broadband network, it will take some time for businesses and consumers to see the benefits.Singapore moved up 2 spots on the Cloud Readiness Index this year to become the second most ‘cloud ready’ country in APAC. Investments made in hard infrastructure such as cables, power and broadband combined with a farsighted and pro-business regulatory environment has made Singapore a preferred destination for cloud business and data centers. This demonstrates that a committed Government creating the right environment for cloud adoption is critical.The APAC region leads the world in cloud readiness. When ranked against their international counterparts, and if the APAC region was considered a country, Germany and the UK would rank 3rd, the US 5th; and Brazil, South Africa and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) would tie at 8th.It’s clear that many businesses see the benefits of cloud, and will increasingly spend more of their IT budget on cloud services. However, what the CRI study illustrates is that businesses and the IT industry cannot achieve this alone. A country’s success in moving to the new cloud world is heavily dependent on a committed government, strong infrastructure, and a business environment that embraces the digital economy.This study also raises another key question: Why aren’t other regions such as North America and Europe doing their own cloud readiness studies? Often research like this becomes a strong change merchant and may provide the catalyst for countries to really ask themselves the question ‘are we ready for the cloud?’. 

What Exactly is the Cloud?

"It went up to the cloud. You can’t get it down from the cloud? Nobody understands the cloud, it's a mystery”, a quote from a recent movie starring Cameron Diaz and Jason Segel.I was at a barbecue recently and someone asked me what I do for a living. When I told them I work in software and the cloud they asked me a question I’ve been asked hundreds of times: “what exactly is this cloud thing”. As IT people we live and breathe this industry, and the innovations, terminology, and acronyms that come with it. But a small business owner is not necessarily going to have the time or inclination to learn about the cloud, and how it can help them grow their business or run it more effectively. They’ve definitely heard about it, they are curious, but really what exactly is this cloud thing?If you walked into any small, medium or large business a few years ago (and still today) you’d see some type of IT server. In a small business, this server device might have been stored under a person’s desk, or in a bigger business there would be a dedicated room in the corner of the building full of them. Unless you were the IT person this was strictly forbidden territory. Fast forward to 2016 and many businesses no longer need this infrastructure on premise. Whether they realize it or not, they’ve moved to storing and accessing information using the internet, and so we have the cloud.According to recent Odin research, many SMBs are rapidly implementing new cloud based business applications such as file sharing, backup and storage, and online accounting. So what exactly are they doing, and where should an SMB start? What cloud services should they consider for their business, and more importantly how will this help them? Here are 4 real-life examples of cloud solutions that are making a big difference to the lives of small business owners. I have highlighted only a few things, but if you work with small businesses you may like to share this with them, or as a small business owner I hope this helps you navigate your cloud journey.Small Business Accounting Software. Running the accounts, bookkeeping, and invoicing must be one of the most time consuming (and possibly hated) tasks in a small business owner’s day. To add to the frustration, how many small businesses are still using manual processes to get the job done? Enter small business accounting software, a cloud innovation saving people bucket loads of time, money and frustration. We call this cloud innovation Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) because you can literally rent it for a period of time, and put it to use in your business. Someone else has spent millions of dollars creating the right accounting solution for you. What’s even better is that accounting software organizations like Xero and MYOB store your information and data (that you create using their SaaS) on servers in a data center, meaning you don’t have to. It’s intuitive, secure, backed-up and you're able to access it 24/7 on your PC, tablet or mobile device. Recently, a small-business owner friend of mine was visiting from overseas and I asked him what he was doing on his tablet. His reply "just doing some customer invoicing". Imagine trying to do that remotely before the cloud!Dropbox. Dropbox is a cloud storage service for all your documents, files, photos and videos. Anything you add to your Dropbox account can be accessed on all your internet enabled devices (phone, tablet, PC) so you can retrieve from anywhere at anytime. Dropbox also makes it super easy to share with others, whether they’re your colleagues, business partners or customers. Back in the day, if you wanted to share a large design document you would have tried emailing it; however, if the server receiving it couldn’t cope with the size of the file it would be rejected. You’d then have to save the document to a disc (or later a USB device) and physically get it to them. With Dropbox, your documents and files are readily accessible via the internet, they’re safe, recoverable, and you control what’s accessible. Dropbox actually states, "Even if you accidentally spill a latte on your laptop, have no fear! Relax knowing that your stuff is safe in Dropbox and will never be lost”. And if you only need to store 5GB or less of data it’s free! There are many different variations of Dropbox, like Microsoft OneDrive and Box.com for example, so go check them out.DocuSign. DocuSign has to be one of the coolest cloud services for small businesses. And did you know they’re adding 50,000 new users globally a day. Remember (and maybe you’re still doing this) receiving a legal document via email such as a contract or customer order form that requires your signature? You open the email, print the document, sign it, scan it, and finally email it back. Sounds exhausting, right? DocuSign lets you sign documents electronically and send them in just minutes. DocuSign electronic signatures are valid and legally binding around the world. In fact, Australia and New Zealand have each passed an Electronic Transactions Act which established the general rule that no transaction will be invalid simply because it was completed electronically. Whether you’re in an office, at home, or on-the-go, DocuSign makes sense.Square. Square, the global payments technology company, recently launched Square Reader in Australia. Square Reader is the smallest, most mobile and most affordable credit and debit card reader available, that allows small businesses to accept card payments quickly and securely on a smartphone or tablet device. Square Reader, which plugs directly into the headphone jack of your iOS or Android smartphone or tablet, takes no time at all to get set up and start accepting card payments. Within minutes a café or hair salon can be securely accepting Visa, MasterCard or American Express credit or debit card payments. Small businesses using Square Reader pay only 1.9% per card transaction, allowing a powerful ecosystem of tools—from integrated card payments to powerful point of sale, analytics and reporting tools, inventory management, online invoices, and digital receipts.Whether or not we fully understand it, the cloud is here to stay. In fact, before long the term “cloud” won’t even exist, but will instead just become 'business as usual' technology. Are you on board? 

Rainmakers Thriving at Ingram Micro Cloud Summit

Cloud Summit 2016, one of the largest, dedicated global cloud services events,  took place last week at the JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort & Spa in Phoenix, Arizona. Over 1,300 partners, vendors, Ingram Micro associates, and industry thought leaders gathered at Cloud Summit, and enjoyed 3 days of networking, informative breakout sessions, and guest speakers including Buzz Aldrin, Thomas Dolby, and Darren Bibby and Melanie Posey of IDC.Renee Bergeron, Ingram Micro’s Vice President of Cloud Computing delivered the opening keynote to a packed audience on Tuesday. Renee began by speaking about how the Internet of Things, social media and mobile technologies are changing the world. The adoption of cloud computing is so widespread that public cloud services will grow at almost six times the rate of overall IT spending growth – from $66 billion in 2015 to more than $141 billion in 2019. Cloud has become the new norm, and is significantly impacting every aspect of our lives. In fact, it’s now the platform from which everything is built.Renee then introduced the Ingram Micro Cloud Marketplace, and explained how this is the “cornerstone of our Ecosystem of Cloud, and serves as a gateway to successfully selling cloud services for more than 30,000 partners in 18 countries”.  She went on to explain that Ingram’s early and ongoing investments in the Cloud Marketplace have accelerated the adoption of cloud services within the IT channel, and have made selling cloud a more profitable and sustainable business for the partner community.Renee then asked the audience “what’s your platform strategy?” and unveiled two new cloud delivery platforms, Odin Automation Essentials and the Ingram Micro Cloud Store, which are now available to channel partners.Odin’s Senior Vice President, Pavel Ershov joined Renee on stage to speak about Odin Automation Essentials. Odin Automation Essentials is a comprehensive, downloadable cloud services automation solution that empowers cloud providers to efficiently provision, manage, and sell both cloud and self-hosted services through a single platform. With OA Essentials, partners can easily market, sell and bundle Microsoft Office 365 and other CSP (Cloud Solution Provider) services with their existing products while maintaining full control of the cloud services delivery, from integration with existing provisioning systems to deploying custom domain and payment plugin options. Pavel explained that partners can “start their cloud business in five hours through Odin Automation Essentials”.   Next, Renee detailed the Ingram Micro Cloud Store, a partner-branded, hosted e-commerce store. Renee explained that the Ingram Micro Cloud Store directly connects to a partner’s existing website, allowing them to sell cloud services available on the Ingram Micro Cloud Marketplace. The customizable e-storefront is designed to provide channel partners with the flexibility and control to manage their entire business through a single online portal. As an extension to the partner’s own e-commerce website, customers can transact on the Cloud Marketplace as if it were through their own business. “With these platforms, you have a springboard to tap into this digital revolution,” noted Renee.Also announced, the general availability of the Ingram Micro Cloud Referral Program, developed for those who want to focus on their traditional business but still leverage the opportunities of cloud.  The Cloud Referral Program enables channel partners to market and sell cloud services through customized banners and links featured on their website, and fulfilled through the Ingram Micro Cloud Marketplace. In return, the channel partner receives a commission for the referral.Want to know how to effectively take your cloud business to the next level and deliver cloud solutions through one platform? Get OA Essentials Cloud Provider Edition now or request to be a beta tester for OA Essentials Cloud Reseller Edition by going to www.ingrammicrocloud.com/OA-Essentials.To access any of the keynote or session presentations from Cloud Summit 2016, please visit the Cloud Summit website. 

Introducing Odin Automation Essentials: The Game Changer

During Cloud Summit, Ingram Micro and Odin unveiled the availability of Odin Automation (OA) Essentials, our new cloud service delivery platform that makes it easier for cloud service providers to establish and grow their cloud services business. As a key part of the combined cloud delivery platforms announcement, OA Essentials places us in our strongest position ever to deliver cloud services to our partners and businesses of every size.  OA Essentials is a comprehensive, downloadable cloud services automation solution that empowers cloud providers to efficiently provision, manage, and sell both cloud and self-hosted services through a single platform. With OA Essentials, partners can easily market, sell and bundle Microsoft Office 365 and other CSP (Cloud Solution Provider) services with their existing products, while maintaining full control of the cloud services delivery from integration with existing provisioning systems to deploying custom domain and payment plugin options.Odin Automation Essentials delivers unique benefits and capabilities for Microsoft CSP partners, hosting partners, and resellers. Let’s take a look at these key differentiators in a little more detail:Cloud Automation and Billing Solution In-a-BoxA turnkey, self-service, centralized hosting infrastructure management solution that replaces aged or legacy automation and billing solutions and reduces costs through simplifying administration. OA Essentials also enables the end-to-end automation of all service module business and upsell scenarios including the billing of third-party services and recurring billing support.Deploy and Sell Microsoft CSP Services in a Day Empowers cloud providers such as CSP 1-Tier partners and CSP 2-Tier resellers to manage, provision, and sell hosted and syndicated cloud services via a one on-premise e-commerce platform. OA Essentials enables partners to increase revenues and sell new services such as Microsoft CSP in hours, not days, and utilize pre-configured service plans.Modern Customer ExperienceA light, fast and easy to customize, mobile-friendly and modern customer control panel simplifies the sign-up and upsell process. Provides a self-service solution to customers, including simple one-click, upsell scenarios, and fully integrated billing automation through an integrated online store.Additional Streams of RevenueA real game changer, Odin Automation Essentials empowers partners to maximize revenue opportunities and grow their business. With Odin Automation Essentials, partners can easily deploy and start to sell Microsoft Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) services with their own managed services today. With future releases, partners can add other syndicated SaaS services or a full range of hosting services, maximizing profit with differentiated offers.Here’s the low down on exactly what the recent Odin Automation Essentials announcement means for cloud service providers, hosting service providers, and cloud resellers:Cloud Service Providers (Microsoft CSP 1-Tier) can deploy Microsoft CSP services within hours today and automate end-to-end customer lifecycle using OA Essentials. Partners can add syndicated SaaS services and self-hosted hosting services (coming 2016 H2), and manage and sell all services via one single platform.Hosting Service Providers can offer hosting services together with syndicated SaaS services and Microsoft CSP Services by signing up for one simple reseller agreement. OA Essentials is a next generation hosting solution for Odin’s existing partners – Odin Business Automation Standard, Plesk Automation, and H-Sphere/Expand/Helm. With the advanced self-hosted services, OA Essentials Hosting Service Provider Edition will be available later this year (coming 2016 H2). If partners want to test OA Essentials with the CSP services first they can sign up for the OA Essentials Cloud Reseller Edition beta program today.Cloud Resellers are able to expand their cloud business easily and resell Microsoft CSP Services and other syndicated SaaS services with one reseller agreement. With OA Essentials, they can maintain full control of the cloud services delivery from integration with existing provisioning systems to deploying custom domain and payment plugin options. OA Essentials Cloud Reseller Edition beta program is available today.Here is a quick summary of the OA Essentials Editions:OA Essentials Cloud Provider Edition: Available nowOA Essentials Hosting Provider Edition (Coming 2016 H2)OA Essentials Cloud Reseller Edition: Available for a beta programLike to know how to effectively take your cloud business to the next level of success and deliver cloud solutions through one platform? Get OA Essential Cloud Provider Edition now or request to be a beta tester for OA Essentials Cloud Reseller Edition by going to www.ingrammicrocloud.com/OA-Essentials.Please contact your account managers to hear how this platform enables you to scale up your cloud services delivery. 

The Evolution of the Telecommunications Provider

34% of telecommunications revenue will come from entirely new digital services by the year 2020*Telecommunications providers are facing unique challenges in today’s dynamic market, where customers are demanding cloud and digital innovations beyond traditional voice and connectivity services. More than ever before, telecommunications providers are challenged with the need to evolve beyond network connectivity, and provide distinctive offerings into the rapidly growing cloud and digital services market.According to a recent IDC report, the worldwide telecommunications industry IoT revenue opportunity is forecasted to be worth $164B (USD) by 2018. The internet of things (IoT) will also have significant ramifications for the telecommunications industry, and some 50 billion devices will become internet connected by the year 2030. More devices and people connected to the internet means more network traffic.In a recent SAP survey, 80% of telecommunications providers stated that building a real-time platform is their top IT priority to manage the industry transformation. And that’s where Odin comes in. Trusted by 30% of the top 25 telecommunications providers worldwide, Odin Service Automation is the most comprehensive automation platform to enable end-to-end cloud service delivery, including services orchestration, customer and reseller management, and billing automation. With the Odin Service Automation platform, telecommunications partners can bring new services to the market rapidly by leveraging our extensive applications ecosystem of over 500 platform ready services, and sell integrated cloud solutions across all sales channels, including online, reseller, direct or inbound sales team, and more.With the Ingram Micro Cloud Marketplace and Odin Automation platform combined, we deliver the most complete range of cloud-based solutions powered by Odin Service Automation, accelerating your digital services innovation in the new cloud economy.Like to learn more? Meet with us at Cloud Summit 2016.*STL Partners, “Telco 2.0: The $50bn Enterprise Mobility Opportunity 

Cloud Summit 2016: Thriving in the New Cloud Economy

If you haven’t heard yet, Odin Summit is now part of Ingram Micro Cloud Summit, being held April 11-13, 2016 at the JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort & Spa in Phoenix, Arizona.Cloud Summit is one of the largest, dedicated global cloud services events. Offering three full days of insights and guidance around the ever-changing cloud industry, Cloud Summit attracts the industry’s top solutions providers, cloud vendors, cloud innovators, thought-leaders and more.I am sure you are wondering what we have in store for you at Cloud Summit 2016.  Plan to be there as we unveil the complete vision of the Odin and Ingram Micro Cloud ecosystem for partners. Simplifying success in the cloud, Ingram Micro offers channel partners and professionals access to a global marketplace, expertise, solutions and enablement programs that empower organizations to configure, provision and manage cloud technologies with confidence and ease, and all powered by the Odin Service Automation platform.   Through industry keynotes, educational breakout sessions, specialized presentations, and various networking opportunities, partners will be able to fully appreciate the increased value and opportunities available to them through the Ingram Micro Cloud ecosystem, and how they can leverage the platform and expertise to further accelerate their success in the cloud.Here's a look at what you can experience by attending Cloud Summit: The coolest guest speakers. Buzz Aldrin, the second person to walk on the Moon, Thomas Dolby, and from IDC Melanie Posey and Darren Bibby. You will be guided from outer space to the leading edge of cloud technologies. The launch of Odin Automation Essentials. Automation Essentials is simple to deploy, easy to use, and ready for business in hours, not days/months/years. This is your opportunity to hear first-hand the latest automation offering from Odin, providing fast access to the Microsoft CSP program. Informative breakout sessions. With sessions like Providing Cloud Solutions to Vertical Markets, we will deliver the information you need to grow your business. Networking, networking, networking. We know how important it is that you reconnect with your industry colleagues, form new alliances, and make new connections (perhaps with some of your competitors). Just like previous Odin (and Parallels) Summit events, our partners will gain unrestricted access to cloud industry leaders and visionaries. Meet the Odin and Ingram Micro team. Our leaders, engineers and trainers will be on-hand to speak with you about how we can grow your business. Get hands-on with the latest technologies. The world’s leading cloud solutions organizations will be on display, with experts ready to educate, inform and guide you.We look forward to seeing you at Cloud Summit. Secure your spot today. 

WHD.global 2016: What Does the Future of Hosting Look Like?

Odin forecasts that the global cloud services market for SMBs alone will be worth $160B (USD) by 2018 Odin is excited to return as a Diamond Partner at this year’s WHD.global event, being held in Rust, Germany, March 15-17.WHD.global, the world’s largest hosting and cloud services event, brings together leading experts and insiders for high-value presentations, networking, informative panel discussions, and breakout sessions. Last year, WHD.global set a new record with over 6,300 international attendees, and is predicted to set new records in 2016.Hosters and cloud service providers are facing unique challenges in today’s dynamic market, including commoditization, price wars, and customers demanding cloud innovations beyond traditional hosting services.Increased competition and digital disruption from new and emerging players have not only created threats, but also new opportunities for traditional hosting providers. Hosters will need to transform and become a full-service trusted advisor, and support new cloud services with technical and operational innovations. In the new cloud economy, cloud service offerings are key for hosting providers to increase revenue, reduce customer churn, and deliver an exceptional customer experience. Hosters will need to become more things to more people, and their legacy systems may not have the capabilities to deliver this level of service and support.During our WHD.global keynote presentation, you’ll hear Pavel Ershov, Sr. Vice President, Odin Automation—Sales, Marketing and Customer Success, speak about a revolution coming to the hosting business model. Pavel will outline Odin’s vision to help partners develop a more comprehensive cloud business model that meets their customers’ evolving needs.At WHD.global you will see the complete vision of the Odin and Ingram Micro Cloud ecosystem. For example, the Ingram Micro Cloud Marketplace, one of the world’s largest cloud marketplaces, and powered by the Odin Service Automation platform, delivers the full range of cloud and digital opportunities to our partners, enabling them to thrive in the new cloud economy.We also look forward to discussing the Microsoft CSP program with you. With Odin Service Automation, partners can automate and streamline the CSP program's end-to-end process on a single platform.Odin and Ingram Micro Cloud have really created the perfect solution for success.   Here’s just a taste of what you can expect to see at WHD.global: Useful breakout sessions. With sessions like “Accelerating Digital Business with the Cloud” and “Trends the Hosting Industry Can’t Ignore”, WHD.global will deliver the information you need. Networking, networking, networking. We know how important it is that you connect with your industry colleagues, form new alliances, and make new friends. Meet the Odin and Ingram Micro Cloud team. Our leaders, engineers and trainers will be on-hand to speak with you about how we can help grow your business. Get hands-on with the latest technologies. The world’s leading cloud solutions organizations will be on display, with experts ready to educate, inform, and guide you.We look forward to seeing you in Rust, Germany. Secure your spot today. 

Making a Smooth Transition from Microsoft Syndication to Cloud Solution Provider Program

Technology progresses, digital trends shift, and customer needs change. Continuous change demands constant innovation. Service providers are required to quickly adapt their business models to take advantage of opportunities while combating new challenges brought forth by an expanding market – changing syndication and partnership models, shared customer channels, customer churns, and low margins. Microsoft responded to the demand for transformation last year when it launched its Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) initiative to meet the evolving needs of its wide range of partners and customers. The CSP program is currently expanding to provide Syndication partners with opportunities to participate in a program that offers their customers a broader set of integrated cloud services, which include Azure, Enterprise Mobility, and Microsoft Dynamics (in addition to Office 365). Early this quarter at the annual international Cloud Service Provider Summit in Prague, Microsoft described its procedure for transitioning from Syndication to CSP. Microsoft informed attendees of the critical steps to complete in order to transact as a CSP partner, and provided detailed insights into the Syndication to CSP transition process. Odin, a platinum sponsor at the event, led two sessions focused on guiding partners through the Syndication to CSP transition and directing partners on how to implement a go-to-market strategy during the shift. Global Accounts Director Bertil Brendeke indicated how Odin is helping Syndication partners prepare for the CSP program and tackle upcoming obstacles to gain a competitive edge. Director of ISV Market Development Gøran Andersson targeted how Syndication partners can identify the next prominent applications for their customer base and – crucially – how to build strong cloud service portfolios that ensure added value and customer stickiness. To reduce risk and assist partners in the migration from Syndication to CSP, Odin allows partners to manage both models simultaneously until they are prepared for Odin to automate the transition. Simply, you can hold on to Syndication until you are ready to let go and allow Odin to make the leap into CSP. We are committed to ensuring a seamless transition from the Microsoft Syndication to CSP models. Here’s how it works:Manage Both Models Simultaneously Today You can manage both the Syndication and the CSP models with Odin Service Automation today.You can start to sell new CSP-based SKUs and services, recruiting new customers with the Microsoft cloud solution portfolio.Automate the Syndication to CSP Transition When You are ReadyWhen you and Microsoft have agreed on the timeline, Odin can help you to easily shift your customers from Syndication to CSP.You can choose a batch process or a 1-to-1 transition.If you want to discuss how to get ready for Syndication to CSP transition and want to know more about our solutions, please contact your account managers or contact csp@odin.com.   Like what you’ve read? Please share this post on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn. 

Stopping the Sprawl – How to Avoid Excel Gymnastics

Sprawl. It just sounds like an unpleasant word, doesn’t it?If asked about “urban sprawl,” visions of unplanned development and poor infrastructure at a city’s edges probably come to mind. But there’s a newer type of sprawl on the block, and this one can lead to more dire issues than longer commutes.Most commonly defined as the uncontrolled use of cloud services with little to no management, cloud sprawl is taking place within almost every growing enterprise. Like many challenges, this one carries several major risks but also presents a few important opportunities for service providers.When Going Rogue Goes SouthAmerican SMBs will adopt 15.2 million new cloud service instances in the next three years, according to Odin SMB Cloud Insights™. It’s obvious the secret’s out: individual departments have discovered the cloud. They’ve also discovered that many cloud services are easily available, so SMB employees are going rogue and going around their IT departments to access their preferred solutions. Whether they choose Box for file sharing or Wrike for project management, there are seemingly unlimited options for meeting an employee’s day-to-day needs.For small companies, this can mean quick access to solutions that simplify their daily tasks. As long as the company is small and employees are aware of products being purchased by each other, the concern about cloud sprawl stays at a minimum.Sounds harmless enough, right? Not so fast.If the company continues to grow, it’ll often find itself the dubious owner of a random assortment of cloud services. These services are likely spread among various departments, all of which are disconnected from each other. Without centralized oversight, these services aren’t held to a constant security requirement and rarely communicate with each other.For example, after experiencing a few years of business growth, a department might realize that their newsletter mailing list isn’t synced to their QuickBooks. Before you know it, they’ve turned to the most popular Band-Aid available to manage their cloud sprawl: Excel spreadsheets.Excel Gymnastics: The Most Dangerous Sport Obviously, even the most comprehensive and complicated Excel spreadsheets are not a quality long-term solution. To avoid this situation, businesses must ensure their various cloud applications are coordinated and held to similar security and integrity standards, especially as their infrastructure continues to grow.This is where a service provider can help its end user stop sprawl in its tracks.A major opportunity is available for service providers to guide their SMB customers in understanding the risks of sprawl. They can also use their trusted relationship to provide a more unified experience – one that lessens growing pains while still allowing the SMB to increase revenue and productivity.Combating Sprawl with OdinOdin solutions help service providers offer an integrated experience that proactively battles the perils of cloud sprawl. For instance, Odin Service Automation provides centralized management that enables users to oversee all of their cloud services in one place. It is also a trusted platform for delivering Microsoft cloud services through the Microsoft Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) program.In addition to providing a wide range of solutions, we advise our partners on what to offer with what, when, and why.We believe in integrating offers as seamlessly as possible. This not only combats sprawl, but also helps simplify a layer of complexity for our service provider partners. For example, Odin Web Business Builder powered by Yola brings together several critical functionalities (such as mobile optimization, social media, and analytics) into a single solution.To capitalize on the sprawl situation, service providers must offer solutions that solve a SMB’s day-to-day needs – while still allowing management to maintain oversight from a larger and more long-term perspective. 

Pages

Recommended Content