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Westcon’s fighting talk

01 Sep 09

Distributor Westcon Group came to New Zealand three years ago somewhat by stealth. Recently it has been far  more visible in the market, boasting 35% growth year on year and a team of six in New Zealand, with   expansion plans in mind both for staff and vendors.

Leigh Howard, Sales Director ANZ for Westcon, said the company will take advantage of holes in the current  market and has a few new vendors in the pipeline. And of Westcon’s seven signed distributors in New  Zealand, four have given Westcon exclusivity – Blue Coat is one such vendor, sealing the exclusive deal in  July this year.

“We’ve got very aggressive and ambitious growth plans for the New Zealand market,” Howard said. “We  firmly believe that there’s huge untapped opportunity in the New Zealand market and from the feedback we’ve  received from the channel as well, existing distribution outside of Westcon is not really delivering to the market what is required by the vendors.”

He added: “We’re keen to step up and make further investments in New Zealand to make sure that we can  secure growth for not only our existing vendors, but some new vendors as well that are coming down the stream.”

One of these new vendors Howard referred to as “quite exciting for us”, and described the choice as a “little  left field” despite security being one of the main pillars of Westcon’s work.

In terms of currently-signed vendors, one of Westcon’s exclusive partnerships in New Zealand is Nortel, which  dropped distributor Express Data in April. Howard said that Nortel’s business in the country, along  with the rest of the world, has softened after Nortel filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. But Howard is confident that after the Nortel Enterprise portion of the business is auctioned and the outcome of the company is clear,  Nortel will continue to grow once again.

“Once the outcome is known, I think we’ll see the Nortel business springing back to the sort of levels we were  enjoying a year, 18 months, two years ago,” he said.

Howard also said Westcon’s recent expansion of Nortel into Southeast Asia indicates that the company has  confidence in its partnership.