Westcon Ahead on Points

Distributor Westcon Group is set to launch a whole raft of channel support programs designed to help resellers consolidate and grow in their existing markets and develop new income streams.

Kristof De Clercq, Convergence Solutions Manager for the Westcon told Comms Business Magazine:

“With a background in network distribution we looked at voice vendors, solutions and defining the value add entering the voice market with Avaya and Mitel under our VoicePoint brand proposition. VoicePoint enables our resellers to have the products and the support they need – you can’t expect a reseller to go from being a voice or data company overnight and become a converged reseller.

Bernie Dodwell, who recently moved from Vendor Alliances to the role of Security Solutions Manager for Europe at Westcon said that the role of the distributor is changing;

“Specialisms become main stream and resellers with pure play single solution applications have had their day because they are up against users demanding a more rounded portfolio from their suppliers.”

De Clercq added that Westcon will provide multiple specialisms as part of a whole solution to help value added resellers retain and develop their customers.

“It is difficult for some resellers to know how to approach users with certain applications but we can help. Westcon is introducing new services and tools for our channel partners.”

“LeadVision is a lead management application that will track enquiries whilst our new SalesVision is an exciting new DVD based tool for putting together compelling sales presentations for users.”

On a global level Westcon is introducing ‘WestView’ a service backed up by more than 90 pre-sales staff located around the world to answer reseller problems and turn them in to opportunities.

Looking to other technologies De Clercq believes that hosted centrex service will be popular in some markets due to pricing but thinks there will not be enough resellers interested except at the bottom end of the market.

Dodwell meanwhile says that Westcon will announce a replacement carrier partner soon following Cable and Wireless’ decision to pull out of their agreement just as it was about to be implemented.

“We are also looking at a mobility play with Nokia e-series phones that will see an integration with email as well as Avaya and Cisco voice clients and security applications. We anticipate Nokia shifting up to 100 million e-series phones in the next 18 months and will be launching Westcom MobilityPoint to offer connectivity and applications for these devices as they enter mainstream business.”

Dodwell concluded that Westcom will also be announcing SecurityPoint, a news service for resellers wishing to enter or exploit the market around the end of Q2 this year.