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Updated: Westcon resellers: the time for cloud is now

Speaking to a packed audience at the Westcon BlueSky event Auckland this morning, Darryl Grauman, Westcon APAC Services and Cloud director, says cloud is the next stage in evolution of distribution. 

“Westcon was built as a logistics company. We shifted boxes from place to place. And that’s what an old fashioned distributor did,” Grauman begins. “We picked up a box from one place and made sure our customers got it on the other side. That’s where our value was.

 We then moved into software distribution. We made a game of that, and we do a bloody good job at our software distribution business,” he says. 

“But the next evolution is cloud, and we’re going to become one of the best cloud distributors in the world.”

Grauman says, “Our strategic priorities for the year are aim to get more efficiency in our business.” 

“Cloud isn’t just a technical sale any more. It’s a business model conversation. It’s a very different conversation,” he says.

Grauman says Westcon is seeing a number of resellers retiring, while at the same time a number a born in the cloud. A churn he says is really interesting to see.  He says Westcon is seeing some resellers having a problem getting into the cloud, and watching them fall away. “Resellers of our past are not necessarily our resellers of the future,” he says. 

“The time for cloud is now.”

Grauman says resellers have to keep up and keep their business models relevant, or risk their customers switching to someone else.

He says Westcon is there to support reseller transformation by assisting partners with migration and support services, and training in sales and technical enablement.  While Grauman says Westcon needs to be able to help with migration services, he insists resellers will have to step up and perform. “We want to teach you how to fish,” he says.  

Grauman says Westcon aims to be a one-stop shop for all cloud services by August this year. “We’re a US$6 billion global company,” he explains. “We have the buying power of a six billion dollar company and that’s what we can pass on to you. Use us for that. That’s part of what we can give to you.”

Grauman outlined Westcon’s strategic priorities in transforming IT distribution. He says Westcon was efficiently built up by acquisition, and plans to streamline tools and processes to improve agility and speed to market. “We need to integrate all these companies,” he says. “We need to take the best of all of them. We’ve got this massive piece of integration that we’re doing to bring all these companies into a single framework. 

By developing a solutions portfolio, Westcon will use industry insight to develop the most compelling solution offer in the channel. “You will see us close off that line card of older vendors – people we think have actually potentially lost relevance in the market in the new world. You will see us expand our linecard with all our cloud service providers. We aim to take our catalogue and make it relevant for now, and not two or three years ago.”

“We are in the game of enabling our partners,” Grauman says. “Westcon’s partner enablement will increase partner potential with effective programmes that generate growth.” 

As a global service, Westcon will extend its partner’s reach through a broad suite of logistics, financials, technical and business operation services. 

“When you call Palo Alto support, you’re actually calling us,” Grauman explains. “People don’t actually get where Westcon plays in the services portfolio. We’re doing more of the level one and two support out of this building.

“Our services team, with our vendors, are expanding rapidly across the globe.”

He says, “Anyone can distribute cloud. The key piece for us is to aggregate cloud services, to be able to provide to our resellers multiple cloud services on a single bill and allow them to then resell it to their end users.”

Grauman says Westcon’s vision is to increase cloud market share in New Zealand from 5% to 25%, a figure he says Westcon will smash with the way things are going. 

Grauman tells resellers it’s not too late to embrace the cloud. “Accelerate, and we’ll help you,” he says.  

“There are so many changes in this market, we can’t be still. 

“Train your sales teams. Become experts before you bring on the next one. If you’re a jack of all trades, master of none, someone else is going to beat you.”

For more information about Westcon's cloud business click here.