Westcon Group’s global CEO, Dolph Westerbos, says A/NZ has posted 40 per cent year-on-year growth for its Cloud offerings.
Westerbos, who is in Australia this week to meet with vendor and client partners, said that A/NZ has proven to be a “key market” for testing its new Cloud platform which launched in New Zealand 18 months ago as a prototype market, before officially launching in Australia on July first.
Already the company is projecting that the datacentre market will produce 6.52 zettabytes of data by 2018, 76 per cent of which will be in the Cloud.
Under Westerbos, the distributor has streamlined its management structure, part of which has seen APAC divided into Asia (headed by Patrick Aronson) and A/NZ, headed by MD David Rosenberg. Both report into ARN Hall of Famer, Westcon's EVP for APAC, Wendy O'Keefe.
In just one year, the company has seen 20 per cent organic growth of its Cloud services globally, with a third of that coming from emerging markets. These markets accounted for $US6.5bn in revenues, and Westerbos stressed the distributors importance in helping partners scale and take advantage of its international reach, such as local giants Telstra.
Westcon Group APAC services and Cloud director, Darryl Graumann, has been overseeing the local growth of the platform, especially the acquisition of digital distribution platform, Verecloud, in September last year.
The company launched Westcon Cloud Solutions on July 1, which lets customers purchase Software-as-a-Service, Infrastructure-as-a-Service and Platform-as-a-Service offerings through Westcon-approved resellers. The costs are aggregated into a single invoice.
Prior to the July launch Westcon Group was already working with launch partners Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Symantec. From July 1, the Westcon Cloud Catalogue now includes: Cisco; Cloud DC; Face Me; Purple Wifi; and Virsae.
One of the key concerns for Westcon in the Cloud era of IT distribution has been remaining relevant, he said, and determining the new role for the channel as a whole. The changing face of distribution means that the company has had to make some serious changes to move from physical distribution (such as its pre-existing hardware and software focus) to a near completely digital distribution.
“We have had to develop and change our staff structure, and work on completely new toolsets,” he said.
Westerbos stressed this new platform will allow channel partners to purchase the hardware, software, services and arrange financing all through a ‘single pane of glass’ in a one stop shop – a “unique and market differentiating proposal”, he said.
Customers will also be able to whitelabel at will – there will be no Westcon intrusion in branding, nor will there be any disintermediation of channel partners on the way through.
Westcon is effectively presenting Bluesky as a Cloud sales backend operating system, so it offers a complete monitoring and billing service in real time, as well as business support/operations support system (BSS/OSS) which can save millions.
“The key problem for resellers, is that these services are too expensive to do on their own - it becomes untenable,” Westerbos said.
Financing is a key role for distributors in this marketplace, and this will be a key part of the BlueSky offering. SMBs and other smaller operators that are built around frontloaded capex-style product sales will now be able to obtain 2-3 year ‘as-a-service’ contract financing, something that banks and financial institutions won’t touch due to the risk profile.
Westerbos has said the company is also adjusting its acquisition strategy. Where formerly the company focused on geographical acquisitions to expand its global footprint, it is now focusing on capability acquisitions that leverage the country-agnostic nature of Cloud infrastructure.
The company’s branding will also change in Australia to match its international portfolio, with the Comstor brand being used to leverage its Cisco offerings, which include key new clients, such as Netapp’s Flexpod. This will happen in September.
Since the Westcon Cloud Solutions launch, the company has hosted partner briefings. This has seen a huge response with 32-35 per cent new resellers.
Graumann said the key focus for the BlueSky platform is to “help resellers get a faster start”, selling Cloud like a utility.
“We want to enable them, help them, and allow them to fish for themselves in the market,” he said.
The company will also launch a new logo featuring both Westcon and Comstor in September to bring it in line with its international offerings.