Westcon-Comstor has unveiled a cloud centre of excellence in New Zealand, designed to help resellers migrate to the skies.
Reseller News can reveal that the local initiative represents a world-first for the distributor, with the Kiwi market set to service the entire Asia Pacific (APAC) region and Canada.
“New Zealand will be our regional hub for cloud,” Westcon-Comstor Vice President of Cloud and Services APAC, Darryl Grauman, said. “We’re the first and we’re currently helping the region and Canada, we’re pioneering the way we’re running cloud across the global business.”
Specifically, Grauman said the centre of excellence will allow the distributor to provide specialist support across billing, cloud optimisation, pre-sales technical consulting and marketing, in light of increased cloud adoption in New Zealand.
“We’ve led from the front previously in cloud and we’ve got the right level of skill in country to support the market,” Grauman told Reseller News.
“This will form a key part of our local strategy in New Zealand during 2017 with the Kiwi market forming the basis of our cloud work regionally.”
With the distributor actively seeking cloud specialists, the division will be run by Westcon-Comstor APAC Cloud Operations Manager, Jason Hole, and will also act as a customer success centre for resellers across the country.
“If you look back at our traditional DNA, we’ve helped partners get started and deliver at speed,” Hole said. “Through this customer success centre, it means our team can provide specialist enablement in the key areas that resellers require.
“Some are more sophisticated than others but the team is cross-trained with strong foundational knowledge across annuity billing, optimisation and marketing.”
Hole said the launch is in response to the “significant shift” impacting the New Zealand market, with cloud adoption skyrocketing nationwide.
With total New Zealand IT spending reaching $11.5 billion in 2016, cloud-first strategies are quickly becoming the foundation for staying relevant in a fast-paced world.
And it’s playing out in the numbers, with more than US$1 trillion in global IT spending expected to be directly or indirectly affected by the shift to cloud during the next five years, making cloud computing one of the most disruptive forces of IT spending since the early days of the digital age, according to Gartner.
“We’re speeding up as the market speeds up,” Hole added. “Discussions have now moved on from what is cloud and how can partners benefit, to how can we go faster.
“We’re just in the process of putting the final heads in place but the team is already established and has the specialist expertise ready to go.”
New Zealand has previous for rolling out global-first cloud strategies in distribution, as explained when Westcon-Comstor CIO, Adam Kuta, sat down with Reseller News in April 2015.
As explained to Reseller News at the time, Kuta stressed the importance of New Zealand from a global perspective, alongside the added benefits of distributor’s acquisition of cloud and services solution provider Verecloud in 2014.
“This is the first cab off the rank in New Zealand and I expect to see other areas of our local business continue to deliver to the region,” Westcon-Comstor Managing Director of New Zealand, Dave Rosenberg, added.
“We’ve got the right capabilities locally and from a New Zealand perspective, it means that we’re creating new jobs and better serving the market as a result.
“New Zealand is a very mature cloud market for Westcon-Comstor and having our cloud centre of excellence based here will also grow our credentials across the industry.”
According to Rosenberg, the launch will also create deeper engagement with key vendor partners, both current and new.
“This allows us to build both exclusive and new partnerships in the cloud,” he explained. “We also have a lot of traditional vendors that have worked with us for a long time maximising this opportunity in the cloud.
“We’re now offering unique financial solutions which is a great service for both vendors and service providers. We’re really accelerating this part of the business locally and we’re very bullish about where our business can go.”
From a reseller standpoint, Grauman said the launch will further expand Westcon-Comstor’s reach across the entire Kiwi channel, bringing the distributor into contact with non-traditional partners as a result.
“Our mix of cloud resellers is exactly that, it’s a mix and it keeps on changing,” Grauman added. “We’re working with Independent Software Vendors (ISVs), born-in-the-cloud providers, start-ups and consulting partners, alongside our traditional resellers.
“A year ago, I’d have said that born-in-the-cloud partners made up the majority of our cloud network, but either through natural growth or natural transition and acquisitions, our traditional partners are heading in that direction also.”
Grauman said the distributor is also working closely with small and medium-sized businesses, providing pre-packaged business solutions targeting start-ups at a regional level.
“We’re targeting the emerging markets also,” he added. “Our channel is always in a state of flux as new partners come in and existing resellers start to shift their business.”
As value-added resellers begin to migrate business processes and services to the cloud, Grauman said the centre of excellence will help provide a bridge during the transition process, in response to challenging channel conditions.
“Firstly, the cloud centre will help supplement the skills that resellers don’t have on deck,” Grauman explained. “And secondly, many are going to view this launch as an outsourced part of their own business.
“Currently, margins in the cloud are not huge so if resellers can reduce their operational support costs by utilising a service than we can provide, then it’ll allow them to turn their business into a profitable business. This centre will help traditional players move to the cloud.”