Westcon Group has announced Sam Paris as its local Cisco business manager.
The appointment is something of a coup for the distributor's local operations, with Paris having spent the past two-and-a-half years managing its global Cisco accounts.
"I was presenting to executives at a Nokia event in Portugal last November and Wendy [O'Keeffe, Weston Group ANZ managing director] was in the room. She approached me and asked if I would be interested in coming to work in Australia," Paris said.
"I came over for a few days and attended a senior management meeting in the Blue Mountains. I wanted to spend five years abroad as part of my career development plan and this was a perfect opportunity."
During his time working on global accounts, Paris helped BT develop an industry-leading delivery mechanism that Cisco has since adopted as a go-to-market strategy. Westcon became a central hub for BT sales of Cisco MPLS [Multiprotocol Label Switching] and transacted 21,000 orders in more than 70 countries.
Paris is well aware that servicing the Australian market will bring a very different set of challenges but is relishing the opportunity and has already set some objectives.
"A channel distribution role will be valuable experience for me and I look forward to developing our local relationship with Cisco," he said. "Step one will be understanding how we work together in different places around the country. I want to formalise how we communicate and drive excellence into those communications.
"At some point we will introduce best practices from around the world because I have a relationship with VP of Cisco sales, Bill Corbin. This enables me to access programs that will provide tools and systems to resellers with Cisco specialisations.
"Increasing our visibility with resellers will also be a focus because I want them to understand our capabilities in terms of stock, customer service, SLAs and turnaround times. We will be providing more regular channel updates."
Paris gained a degree in mechanical engineering in the UK before contracting out as a professional contract manager with several firms including global mobile operator, Vodafone. He then spent 18 months with Comstor UK, which is part of the Westcon Group, before moving into a global Cisco account role that saw him reporting directly to the Westcon board of directors.
He replaces Ralph Marshall, who left the Cisco business manager's role at Westcon after a very brief stint.