Westcon strengthens local presence

Westcon strengthens local presence

Bay Networks' largest distributor, Westcon, has expanded its presence in Australia with the opening of a 2000 sq metre warehouse and operations centre at Botany, south of Sydney. The new facility includes 1000 sq metres of storage space as well as demonstration facilities and technical support services.

Westcon's vice-president of sales and marketing, Tom Dolan, says the Australian operation is crucial to his company's expansion in the region. "What we're trying to do is establish a solid centre from which we can support the Australian market and additional markets in Asia," he said.

Dolan also has high expectations for its success, with a sales target of $20 million for the 12 months until September. He doesn't expect that the flat sales experienced recently by Bay Networks in the US will affect this goal, as his company has continued to grow worldwide in spite of this. "We have not had flat sales - our sales have continued to grow. We've been very successful with the Bay Networks routers, and have also achieved greater geographic penetration in North America in the last year-and-a-half, and we're adding Hong Kong and Australia."

Dolan believes much of that growth is coming at the expense of other distributors, stating that Westcon now holds 40 per cent of marketshare of Bay Networks' product through distribution.

The opening of the Botany facility comes less than six months after Westcon first established its local presence, following the decision by Bay Networks' distributor Com Tech to enter both the broad line distribution and integration marketplace. While Com Tech's Express Data distribution arm continues to distribute the Bay products, it has dropped the value-added services it previously offered.

Dolan feels Westcon can easily sustain the value added distribution model, the burden of which was a driver behind Com Tech's reorganisation. "There's a prevalent opinion that a value-added distributor is more expensive than another dis-tributor," said Dolan. "In North America, with value-added services we maintain price parity. We're able to offer the value-add because we have the focus on the product lines. That's how we get the efficiencies to value-add at the same price."

"Our company is focused on developing strong reseller customers - it's the backbone and basis for our business," said Dolan.

Westcon is also now stocking product from nine other vendors, including Eicon Technology, US Robotics and Network Peripherals. Other Westcon initiatives to come online soon include the rollout of its connectivity program for dedicated resellers, and Westcon Live, a satellite-based training program. The company is also intent on appointing business development managers in Melbourne, Perth and Brisbane by the end of March.

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