Why MSPs are Turning to This Top Technology

In my first two posts in this series, I talked about the expertise it takes to become a world-class MSP and the technical capabilities needed to pass the Azure Expert MSP audit. Having the right knowledge and tools go hand in hand if you want to attain the coveted Microsoft Azure Expert MSP certification.

In this blog, I’m going to delve a bit more into the technology side of the certification and discuss how the platforms and products available from CloudBlue have become key assets in Ingram Micro Cloud’s ability to service our customers. In fact, CloudBlue’s technology was the driving factor in Ingram Micro Cloud’s ability to successfully meet the stringent technology requirements associated with Microsoft’s Azure Expert MSP audit.

Along with working in the professional and managed services space, I also have a favorite hobby: working on my old Jeep CJ-7. The great thing about a Jeep is that it’s straightforward to work on and there’s always something that needs fixing. The other great thing is I don’t need a lot of tools; most of the time, as long as I can find my ½-inch socket, I can get the job done.

In the business world, there are a lot of tools to choose from, and I’ve seen what happens when you have the right tools for the job—and when you don’t. Sometimes these tools are complex, and sometimes you just need the technological equivalent of a ½-inch socket. But without the right tools, all the expertise in the world won’t get you where you need to go, leaving you with continuing problems.

How CloudBlue meets the technology requirements for the Azure Expert MSP certification

When Ingram Micro Cloud pursued the Microsoft Azure Expert MSP certification, the company turned to CloudBlue to power its cloud management platform (CMP), which included using a combination of CloudBlue and Multi-Cloud Orchestrator. Key requirements in the audit for the certification state that you must have an automated CMP along with tooling for provisioning and orchestration.

Rather than reinventing the wheel or purchasing a new technology stack, they found that the tools from CloudBlue fulfilled important areas of the technology requirements, including sections 4.10, 4.11 and 5.20. For more details, read the blog, Become Azure Expert MSP Certified.

Using the CloudBlue platforms, incorporated with our other products, Ingram Micro Cloud was able to present a complete architecture for their on-site audit, as seen in the diagram below.

Let’s take a look at each section: 4.10, 4.11 and 5.20. Ingram Micro Cloud was able to fulfill the requirements of section 4.10, which is about demonstrating technology used for provisioning and orchestrating Azure environments. With Multi-Cloud Orchestrator, they were able to easily demonstrate the required evidence for this section.

Section 4.11 requires that applicants have automated deployment tools. While not a part of the on-site audit, it’s one of many essential elements of the certification. To pass this section, Ingram Micro Cloud turned to CloudBlue, which helped the company successfully meet the technology criteria. CloudBlue is a catalog and channel management platform that supports omni-product (any type of product) distribution and uses automation as part of its fulfillment and procurement capabilities. In addition, CloudBlue’s flexible APIs enable it to integrate with any commerce platform and any back-office system.

Section 5.20 requires those pursuing the certification to have a robust CMP and to demonstrate its capabilities on-site during the audit. Using CloudBlue and Multi-Cloud Orchestrator, Ingram Micro Cloud was able to meet the three core requirements of section 5.20:

  • Service request management
  • Provisioning, orchestration and automation
  • Governance and policy

Service request management requires that you have an interface by which cloud services are consumed and/or requested by the customer. You need to have the ability to provision Azure and orchestrate subscriptions. Ingram Micro Cloud fulfilled this requirement with CloudBlue.

The provisioning, orchestration and automation requirements state that you must show evidence of these capabilities. They used CloudBlue and Multi-Cloud Orchestrator to pass this part of the audit. Ingram Micro Cloud also met the governance and policy requirement with Multi-Cloud Orchestrator, which involves demonstrating detailed policy enforcement and governance.

The following table lists the CloudBlue platforms and products that correlate with each element of section 5.20.

Item Evidence CloudBlue Technology
Access Management User provisioning CloudBlue
Service Request Management & Service Catalog Provision Azure & Orchestrator subscriptions CloudBlue
Provisioning Deploy ARM templates & provision Azure resources Multi-Cloud Orchestrator
Orchestration and Automation Deploy multi-tier architecture with networks Multi-Cloud Orchestrator
Governance and Policy Show policies by restricting provisioning to regions Multi-Cloud Orchestrator
Consumption Monitoring and Metering Metering on CloudBlue CloudBlue

These core technology aspects of the audit require the ability to see and manage just about every aspect of your managed service customer. This management must have the ability to inherit various rules and restrictions from the Azure portal, and not just work as a standalone management platform.

The ability to work in conjunction with the Azure portal and extend its capabilities is one of the reasons CloudBlue technology is so easy to use. When Ingram Micro Cloud went through the various requirements, they found they could quickly map the required evidence to functionality that they employed on a regular basis.

When looking at areas such as provisioning as well as policy and governance, they had the ability to point directly to functionality in the CloudBlue platforms and products, allowing them to quickly deploy ARM templates, and provision Azure subscription and resources. They were able to inherit and institute Azure policies that restrict provisioning based on various regions while showing evidence of integrated metering capabilities.

Using the functionality of the systems already in use, combined with the team’s knowledge and expertise as well as the inclusion of various other tools in their toolkit, Ingram Micro Cloud was able to master the requirements needed to become an Azure Expert MSP. Without having all these pieces in place, the chances of making it through the audit would have been greatly diminished.

To learn more about how you can use CloudBlue technology to pass the technical requirements of the Microsoft Azure Expert MSP certification, visit us online. For more information about CloudBlue, contact us at together@cloudblue.com.

Read time
Share article
Get the latest expert advice and strategies in your inbox.

Subscribe to our newsletter

Monetize your SaaS subscription business with CloudBlue! Subscribe to our newsletter for expert insights, strategies, and tips to maximize your revenue potential.

By providing my Personal Data to CloudBlue and its affiliates, I agree to be contacted for marketing purposes and I acknowledge and agree to the collection and processing of my Personal Data in accordance with the Privacy Statement.

Tatiana serves as Head of Human Resources and HR Associate at Ingram Micro Inc., where she leads the HR function for CloudBlue globally.

Tatiana plays a pivotal role in shaping CloudBlue talent strategy. With a passion for fostering a positive work environment, Tatiana focuses on employee development, engagement, and well-being. She is committed to building a diverse, inclusive, and high-performing organization at CloudBlue. Based in Sofia, she collaborates closely with country HR teams across 16 countries where CloudBlue operates.

Prior to joining Ingram Micro in 2016, Tatiana held the position of HR Director at IBM’s regional office in Russia and CIS countries. Her HR career began with ING Bank and Unicredit Bank, and in 2008, she transitioned to the IT sector to lead HR functions at Kaspersky Lab. Tatiana holds a master’s degree in Biotechnology and Psychology, and she has also earned an MBA in Strategic Management.
Mike Jennett, Director of CloudBlue Platform Strategy, is an accomplished business and technology executive. With a deep focus on product development and go-to-market strategy, he plays a pivotal role driving strategic growth and market expansion.

Mike’s career is characterized by his adeptness in driving technological advancements and his commitment to leading digital transformations with experience including IDC where he was VP of the Mobility and Digital Transformation IEP practices, and HP where he held numerous leadership roles.

Mike’s expertise is also reflected in his published works and contributions to multiple tech publications. Mike holds a B.A. from California Polytechnic University.
Having previously to strategic product management, agile transformations, and user experience in CloudBlue, Taylor Giddens heads the Services & Solutions team where he ensures smooth delivery, operations and solution growth for our partners and customers.

The team includes technical account management, managed services, support, custom solution development, and customer enablement.

Prior to CloudBlue, his resume boasts leadership of some of the world’s largest companies during their digital transformations and marketplace launches. Taylor is a practitioner of servitude leadership when it comes to enabling his team to drive positive outcomes on the road to operational excellence.
Laurens van Alphen, a visionary entrepreneur with over 29 years of internet technology expertise, serves as Director of Technical Managed Services at CloudBlue, responsible for Operations and Delivery of CloudBlue SaaS.

As a Dutch racing champion and car enthusiast, he brings the same drive to the tech realm, steering Keenondots from a managed hosting firm to a global cloud enablement leader. Laurens is celebrated for his outcome-driven leadership, deep industry insight, and passion for balancing business innovation with client engagement.
Lincoln Lincoln is CloudBlue’s Head of Global Sales; having been with the company since November 2017. Leading CloudBlue’s global go-to-market organization, he’s responsible for driving accelerated and sustained mutual growth with CloudBlue’s customers and partners, as well as forming new customer partnerships across the Vendor and Provider ecosystem. As part of CloudBlue’s leadership team he is responsible the organisation’s revenue and continued market leadership by delivering and supporting products, services and solutions to organizations in established and new markets around the world.

Before joining CloudBlue, Lincoln was AppDirect’s Regional Director, Asia Pacific & Japan, responsible for forming, building and leading AppDirect’s business and operations across the APJ geography. He built and led AppDirect’s fastest growing and highest performing region globally within 3yrs.

Before joining AppDirect, Lincoln was EMC’s Practice Manager, Cloud Service Providers, APJ, working with the leading Service Providers to maximise their Cloud Business presence & market success. Lincoln joined EMC in 2007, and has over 20 years’ experience in the IT industry, having been based out of Singapore, Australia and the UK. Prior to EMC, he was in range of sales and channel positions at Symantec and VERITAS.

Lincoln has an Honours degree in Business Administration from Kingston University in the United Kingdom.
Brent Clooney is the Executive Director and Associate General Counsel for Ingram Micro Inc., and lead counsel for CloudBlue.

Brent is a Canadian based corporate lawyer with more than 20 years of experience as a strategic legal advisor both in private practice and as in-house counsel to large multi-national companies. Prior to joining Ingram Micro in 2008, he worked at a well-respected corporate law firm in Toronto, Canada and later served as general counsel for Toshiba Canada. During his 15-year tenure at Ingram Micro, he has held positions of increasing complexity and responsibility, and since being promoted to his current role in 2022, Brent is the legal lead for both Ingram Micro’s Canadian and global cloud businesses, as well as CloudBlue.

Brent holds a law degree (LL.B.) from Queen’s University, a Psychology degree (B.A. Honours) from Lakehead University, and has been admitted to the bar in Ontario, Canada since 2002.
Anurag serves as the Head of Product Management for CloudBlue and is responsible for product direction and driving innovation. His leadership has been marked by a keen focus on customer needs, growing the ISV ecosystem, and ensuring the continual evolution of CloudBlue’s product portfolio.

Anurag joined Ingram Micro in 2017 and has been instrumental in, positioning CloudBlue as an industry leading monetization platform for MSP’s, Telco’s and Distributors. Previously Anurag worked at Oracle and Microsoft where he managed many technology projects and programs.
As VP of Engineering of CloudBlue, Rony oversees the development and engineering efforts of the company. He is a recognized leader with more than 25 years of experience in Technology and Product.

Prior to joining CloudBlue Rony lead the R&D efforts at Tripwire acquired by Thoma Bravo, and Cedexis acquired by Citrix. Rony is a leader with extensive experience in transforming both complex technology problems into products that customers love and disjointed organizations into agile high performing teams.
Coen is a distinguished leader and entrepreneur in the realm of cloud technology. Currently serving as CEO of Keenondots and the Global Director of CloudBlue SaaS. He is passionate about driving innovation, fostering collaboration, and leading high-performing teams to achieve transformative results.

With a background as Managing Director of INTO Cloud and a pivotal role as Director of Products of KPN, he brings a wealth of experience in steering organizations through the complexities of the digital landscape.

Beyond the boardroom, Coen is a marathon enthusiast, demonstrating endurance and discipline in pursuit of both professional and personal goals.
Alyson has over twenty years of experience in demand generation, marketing automation and data management. She is responsible for leading the strategy and direction of the company’s brand, performance, and digital marketing.

Prior to CloudBlue, Alyson served as Ingram Micro’s Director of Global Business Intelligence Marketing Automation driving channel partner campaigns. Her tenure in marketing leadership at prestigious companies such as Western Digital, Ocean Institute celebrates redefining marketing campaigns and building top performing teams based on trust, experimentation, and results.

Alyson resides with her husband and three children in Orange County and is an active volunteer and donor within her children’s sports and education programs.

Darek Tasak is leading Customer Success & Value Creation for CloudBlue. In his role, he looks after CloudBlue customers globally during the entire lifecycle of our relationship: from the initial on-boarding, through in-life account management, always ensuring they build successful businesses leveraging our technology. Additionally, he is also in charge of Partnership & Alliances, as well as Pricing Management for everything we commercialize.

Before CloudBlue, Darek managed Ingram Micro’s Services division for hi-tech customers in Europe & APAC. His prior experiences include also launching and leading pan-European services business for TDSynnex, as well as strategy consulting with Boston Consulting Group (BCG).

As President of CloudBlue, Uddhav is a distinguished leader and visionary with nearly two decades of platform-building experience. He is an industry leader in digital commerce, the subscription economy, and monetization platforms.

Notably, at SAP, he spearheaded the transformation of their platform business into a multi-cloud platform-as-a-service, offering enterprise and developer-friendly subscription models. At Pure Storage, he championed the efforts to successfully disrupt the storage industry by creating revolutionary Storage-as-a-service, AIOps-as-a-service, and Disaster Recovery-as-a-service offerings with cutting-edge features and establishing a sophisticated subscription commerce infrastructure that is channel-friendly.

At CloudBlue, Uddhav guides and empowers businesses to rethink their monetization strategies by unlocking the power of digital ecosystems and marketplaces. CloudBlue provides enterprises with a mature multi-tier, multi-channel marketplace and monetization platform that enables usage-based subscription models and global delivery of Anything-as-a-Service solutions. Uddhav has played a pivotal role in shaping the future of the subscription economy through his innovative thinking and impactful contributions.

Let's talk