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Westcon helping Kiwi businesses use cloud services

Westcon Group Imagine 2014 kicked off this morning to a jam-packed audience of resellers and end users, with the company’s cloud platform the key focus of the event.

The 2014 event is a platform where business-focused people can get solutions. Where the different factions of the industry can pick and choose topics that are relevant to them and their business.

Mark Baker, Weston Group sales and marketing director, says Westcon has gone from a small technology showcase to a bigger, more formal and interactive event.

Baker says that people don’t have the time to have lots of different appointments with vendors, so an event like Westcon gives people the opportunity to have ‘one big download of information’ while at the same time building relationships.

Baker says a highlight of this year’s event is how much the end user is driving change in the industry. In the past, businesses would approach end users and tell them why they needed certain technologies or devices, whereas today, more and more end users know what technology they need, and are approaching businesses asking them how they are going to provide it. “The end customer wants to understand the technology as much as the reseller,” he says.

Baker says the increased knowledge of end users is a positive change for the event. The percentage of end user registrations to the event has increased, which has really enhanced the value of the event, he says. Vendors see high value in good quality end users who come to the event, which in turn drives more people to attend.

Westcon’s cloud platform is a key focus of the event. The cloud platform is intended to make cloud services easier for vendors and resellers. It went live in early September.

Dave Rosenberg, Westcon Group managing director ANZ, says, “New Zealand is the innovation hub of our global cloud business.”

New Zealand is the first country to run this cloud distribution model. Baker says the New Zealand market is the perfect size for the transformation into cloud services.

Smaller, mid-sized resellers can see value in the cloud platform, and the market size is not so big where the change is too big a step for business to make.

Baker said Kiwi businesses move quite quickly, and have an open-minded mentality when it comes to new technologies. He says if they are not ‘going cloud’, they are certainly making it a part of their decision making process.

Baker says that resellers do not always know how to make the transition into cloud services, and Westcon aims to help them understand what they need to do to support cloud platforms. “What are the key steps those resellers are going to need to make to become an end-to-end reseller.”

Westcon aims to help resellers show businesses the value in the cloud platform, by showing them how they can gain cost savings and resource savings by using the cloud, and to get businesses asking what their options are, and how they can upgrade or change their business.

Westcon has training programmes and enablement sessions to help with the transitions. By articulating the Westcon platform, they hope to show resellers the way. Today’s event is the ideal stage for getting things started.

Baker said it is a testament to the Westcon team with how successful the event has become. He says it has become a real team event where everyone pulls it together to pull it off at this level. Jumping in and supporting each other is part of the Westcon culture