“We’re going to become one of the best Cloud distributors in the world.”
That was the opening line of the Westcon BlueSky event in Auckland, New Zealand this morning, as the Cloud distributor laid out its plans for global expansion.
In documenting a global initiative, forged in New Zealand, Westcon APAC Services & Cloud Director Darryl Grauman told a packed audience that the next evolution of the channel has arrived, laying down a clear blueprint for how resellers can jump on board and move to the Cloud.
“Cloud is here, it’s the reality,” said Grauman, speaking at Westcon’s Cloud Solutions event. “We’re seeing some resellers encountering problems moving to the Cloud and we’re watching them fall away.
“Our resellers of the past are not necessarily our resellers of the future, as 60 per cent of our resellers didn’t exist two years ago, they were born in the Cloud.”
Offering assistance with migration and support for resellers, Grauman said while Westcon will help “babysit” resellers through the early stages of cloud migration, the onus will then be on individual partners to excel.
“Cloud services are sticking around and resellers must keep their business models relevant while at the same time working for the needs of the customer,” Grauman adds.
“We’re here to support resellers but also teach them how to fish, the time is now.”
Aiming to become one of the standout Cloud distributors in New Zealand, and across the world, Grauman laid out the company’s strategic priorities for the year ahead, under the banner ‘Transforming IT Distribution.’
1) Become more efficient in business
“We’re a large global business,” Grauman adds, “we’re built up through acquisition and now we need to integrate all of these companies and take the best of each of them.
“It’s a huge integration process to bring all these companies under the same framework.”
2) Solutions portfolio
“You’ll see us close the door on the vendors who have maybe lost relevance in the market,” Grauman adds.
“But we’re rapidly expanding on the other side, we’re taking on board cloud service providers, we’re enhancing our catalogue and making sure it’s relevant now.”
3) Enabling partners
“We’re in the game of enabling partners and taking billing as a service as a prime example, if you want to offload that to us, we can do it,” Grauman explains.
“With Amazon, we process tens of millions of billing lines each month, and can scale them down into single line item invoices for customers.”
4) Global services
“When you call vendors such as Palo Alto Networks,” explains Grauman, “you’re actually calling us.
“A lot of people don’t understand where Westcon plays within the customer support market but we’re doing lots of Level 1 support out of this very building in Auckland.
“We’re rapidly expanding our customer services team across the globe, and currently have seven interconnected operation centres.”
5) Cloud distribution
“We aim to become the leader in Cloud distribution,” Grauman adds. “It’s taken us a while but we have a plan and a clear vision.
“We started this journey in August 2011, in the UK, undertaking a pilot of a digital distribution platform which was the biggest debacle I’ve ever seen.
“Truthfully, we were too early and the platform provider simply couldn’t do it, and the Cloud vendors didn’t want it.
“We crashed, we burnt and we learnt.”
After ending the UK pilot in 2012, and engaging with analyst firm Forrester Research to execute on a clear Cloud strategy, Westcon rolled out its Syndicated Cloud Managed Services (SCMS) offering through its close relationship with Verecloud, which the company subsequently acquired early in 2014.
“Australia and New Zealand was the crash test dummy market,” Grauman recalls. “We made it highly successful and it worked to such a point that our CEO came in and said we’re going to buy Verecloud.”
So much so that Grauman says analyst feedback underlined the company’s vision, that Westcon’s business of the future will not just be supported by the Verecloud system, it will become the business.
“Our Cloud strategy has grown and we are aiming to provide our resellers with better ways to sell the Cloud,” he adds.
“By August, Westcon will have a one stop shop for all physical and virtual services. Resellers can visit the new portal and see all of their physical infrastructure, hardware, software and Cloud services from a single point.
“We’re a US$6 billion global company, and we’re now purchasing as a global company and we’re here to pass on this expertise to resellers.”
Concluding with one simple message, as straightforward as his opening address, Grauman said that for resellers, it’s not too late to embrace the Cloud, “although the Clock is ticking…”