Ingram Micro invests in Parallels, in new alliance

parallelsTechnology distributor Ingram Micro, one of the quiet giants of the industry, is making an equity investment in virtualization and cloud technology company Parallels as part of a broader strategic alliance between the companies.

The size of the investment and equity stake weren’t disclosed by the companies. The news was announced this morning at the Ingram Micro Cloud Summit in Florida.

Under the alliance, Ingram Micro will use the Parallels Automation platform to make cloud apps and services available to its customers, including technology resellers and IT professionals.

Parallels, based south of Seattle in Renton, Wash., is best known for its popular Parallels Desktop for Mac software, which lets Mac users run Windows. However, the largest and fastest-growing part of its business helps telecom companies, hosting firms and other service providers aggregate, manage and deliver cloud-based services and apps to small and medium-sized businesses.

That’s the side of the business where Ingram Micro and Parallels are now working together.

Ingram Micro’s investment follows a pattern for Parallels. Cisco last year year took an equity stake of undisclosed size in Parallels as part of its broader relationship with the company.

Update, 9:50 a.m.: Under the arrangement, Ingram Micro will provide resellers with unified commercial terms and product support. That “one-stop shop” approach will to bring new structure to what can be a fragmented market, explained John Zanni, the chief marketing officer for Parallels’ service provider business, in a phone interview.

Ingram Micro has about 200,000 customers, including resellers and retailers. That scale should accelerate Parallels’ reach and its ability to make innovations, by better understanding the needs of resellers, Zanni said.

The equity investment “shows a commitment on both sides” to the new alliance, he noted.

Previously: Profitable and growing, Parallels finds success beyond Mac