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Farewell Datastor, hello Westcon

01 Apr 12

The Datastor brand bowed out of the market last month, with the New Zealand institution taking its parent’s name.

After more than 20 years in the market, the Datastor name is no more, with the distributor opting to take on the name of its parent of more than two years and become Westcon Group NZ.

Dave Rosenberg, Westcon Group NZ managing director, says the change will enable the company to leverage the reputation and support of its international counterparts while keeping its local focus, and that no core competencies will be lost. “Rather, we will have a more extensive solution portfolio on offer in the data centre, virtualisation, networking, security and storage technology. We already have added a number of technologies to complement what we already [had] in place at Datastor.

“Our goal is to become an even stronger distribution partner for our vendors and for our resellers through our vendor and reseller first programmes.”

Rosenberg says the move away from the Datastor name also highlights its expanding business, where data storage, while a ‘critical’ part of the business, is no longer the company’s only focus.

Wendy O’Keeffe, Westcon Group executive vice president, Asia Pacific, says the change was driven by the local team, rather than head office, with the Datastor name remaining in play for so long because of the strength of the brand. A recently acquired Indonesian business, in comparison, is being rebranded under Westcon’s name immediately, because the Indonesian company doesn’t have the same brand recognition as Datastor had.

‘Most successful acquisition’

O’Keeffe says the acquisition of Datastor has proved to be Westcon’s ‘most successful acquisition globally’ in terms of the company’s performance, with New Zealand accounting for 21% of Asia Pacific business last year.

Highlighting the local business’ growth since Westcon’s 2009 purchase of it, O’Keeffe says in 2009 Datastor had 80 customers, where it now has 900; it had annual revenue of $5 million and is now at more than US$126 million, the eight staff have grown to more than 100 and the four vendors represented in 2009 have been expanded to 57.

She says she has ambitious plans for Asia Pacific. The company clocked up revenue of US$600 million across the region in the financial year just ended, but aims to ‘bust a billion’, while being profitable, by 2015.

“We aim to be 20% of Westcon Group worldwide in network, data centre, security, IP-Tel, video and software technologies,” she adds.

Strategic priorities for this year include a focus on moving up the value chain driving channel services, including cloud; and growth through core vendor expansion. Across the region, O’Keeffe says the goal is to open up China, strengthen current business through acquisition and build a successful Westcon Solutions VAD business in Asia.

Looking locally, Rosenberg says the company has just completed FY12, finishing the year strongly. Revenue was up 25% on FY11, to $157million, with margin 24% up and increased profitability. The company also maintained or grew market share in all its core vendors, he says.

Challenge to resellers

However, he says FY13 ‘has a new set of challenges’ and threw down the gauntlet to resellers, saying while market growth is predicted to be around 4%-6%, Westcon Group NZ is targeting growth of around 18% – taking it to $186 million.

“The good news for you is that our challenge is your opportunity to grow,” he told partners at the rebrand launch in March. He says the company has three core strategies, focused around innovation from new and existing vendors, incubation with Westcon putting resources in purely focused on incubation, and systems and processes.

Adds Rosenberg: “Our vision is to be the global benchmark for Westcon.”

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