During the Ingram Micro Cloud Summit in Dallas this morning, Services VP Justin Crotty described where Ingram Micro will and won't play in the cloud. He also described how the smartest solutions providers are succeeding in the cloud. Here's a rapid recap.

According to Crotty, there are five core cloud opportunities -- but Ingram Micro will only play in three of them. Specifically:
  1. Application development: Ingram Micro has no plans to play in this cloud area, Crotty said.
  2. Facilities and infrastructure development, maintenance and ownership: Crotty said Ingram will also avoid the temptation to compete in this marketing.
  3. Provisioning of software development and integration platforms: Yes, Ingram will play here.
  4. Aggregation of supply and demand: Yes, Ingram will play here.
  5. Integration services, such as SaaS applications working with legacy systems: Yes, Ingram will play here.
According to Crotty, solutions providers that succeed in the cloud understand:
  • The difference between selling products and services. And understand the difference between selling tools and selling your branded services.
  • Differentiation. They serve as "Fractional CIOs" -- they are strategic to their customers, entangled, and difficult to replace.
  • How to lead with their own business brand. This involves having a dedicated marketing and branding person. And they sell customer experience. A key example: When you buy a BMW do you know who built all the tools and piece parts -- the transmission, the air conditioner, etc.? Absolutely not. You buy the BMW brand for the experience.
Roughly 250 VARs and MSPs are here at the Cloud Summit 2010 in Dallas. The event will transition to the Ingram Micro Seismic Partner Summit 2010 on June 8 and 9. We'll be back with more coverage multiple times daily.

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