Ingram Micro has built up a range of managed and cloud services in North America over the last two years and they could be on their way to Europe.
The worldwide As-A-Service market is forecast by IDC to achieve compound annual growth rates of 35% from $55bn in 2009 to $183bn by 2013, compared to low single digit growth rates for on-premise product.
The broadliner has 15 services sold on a monthly or annuity basis including managed security solutions, remote monitoring and management, storage on demand, and hosted Microsoft Exchange Server & Sharepoint.
This strategy has been implemented over that past two years across the Atlantic but Alain Maquet, EMEA president at Ingram, told MicroScope it had expansion plans in mind.
"The cloud is something we are watching very closely, there have been some good initiatives in the US, which already have been transformed into real concrete business. This is something we are looking at doing in all regions," he said.
"We need to understand exactly the shape and how we will build it, we are working on that...A lot of resellers have no capability and will never have in that area so anything we can do on their behalf will be welcome for them."
In the US, Ingram has three major elements to its broad services divisional structure; Seismic, Professional Labour Services and Warranty Contract Management.
The cloud has been over-hyped and procurement will not shift to the hosted model overnight giving many distributors some time to decide if they have a role to play in the market.
Ingram CEO Greg Spierkel told analysts at its 2009 investor event this month that cloud services were "not vapourware".
"We've got 1,100 partners as of the end of Q3," he said, "we have a portfolio of capabilities and billing mechanisms that our VAR community is saying are great...we are trying to enable them with managed services."
Distributor's role in the new 'as-a-service' environment was not entirely clear said Alastair Edwards, senior analyst at Canalys.
"We are on the cusp of big changes in the industry that will require distributors to change their business model...beyond the core functions of credit, logistics and availability," he said.
"If distributors build hosting and data centre capabilities they could become a repository for third party applications, online storage or compute power, but because many are capital constrained, making that investment will not be easy."