Reseller News

​Westcon-Comstor Imagine 2016: Why Kiwi partners should attend

Ahead of Westcon-Comstor Imagine 2016, Reseller News previews the vendors on show, uncovering what partners can expect when attending one of the region’s leading technology conference.
  • RNNZ Staff (New Zealand Reseller News)
  • 22 April, 2016 09:31

Westcon-Comstor Imagine 2016, New Zealand’s premier business technology event, comes to Auckland and Wellington in May, showcasing a wide variety of market leading vendors.

Covering cloud, mobility, networking security, storage and unified communications - among many other key technologies - the day long events will uncover key market trends and opportunities for the local channel, enabling Kiwi partners to extract value from a changing digital world.

Set for Auckland on May 3 and Wellington on May 5, Imagine 2016 will examine the year ahead for the channel in New Zealand, as resellers adapt to disruptive technologies and changing business demands.

Ahead of the series, Reseller News previews the vendors on show, uncovering what partners can expect when attending one of the region’s leading technology conference.


At Imagine 2016 in New Zealand, Symantec will be focusing on key trends and patterns across the security market, observing how the changing technology landscape will impact partners across the country.

“Traditional security solutions are not effectively detecting and remediating sophisticated attacks,” says Samuel Taylor, Vendor Business Manager, Westcon-Comstor.

“In today's rapidly changing threat environment, cybercriminals continue to find targeted attack techniques that span across control points. To make things worse, many point products lack integration, requiring security analysts to examine multiple sources of data - a time-consuming process that leads to false positives and lost productivity.”

During this technical deep-dive session at Imagine 2016, Taylor says partners will learn how to advantage of advanced threat protection to get one step ahead in this changing market.

“Is your company data at risk because of the very things that make your organisation successful - cloud and mobile?” Taylor asks.

For today’s IT departments, Taylor believes the challenge is supporting the explosion of cloud-based apps and always-connected devices, with no visibility or control.

“Many times the only thing between your data in the cloud and an attacker is a password - and passwords alone are vulnerable, costly and complex,” he adds.

“During our session you’ll learn how your organisation can confidently embrace cloud and mobile with secure access from any device, and why eliminating the password improves the security and convenience of two-factor authentication.”

As users, infrastructure and applications move to the cloud at a record-breaking pace, Taylor believes the cloud has become a paradox: both a dream and a nightmare.

“Accessibility, scale, price and elasticity drive high adoption while security is a source of constant concern,” he adds. “2015 also saw the divestment of Veritas and a new partner program called SecureOne, a significantly more simplified program with much better financial benefits for our partners.

“Looking ahead, 2016 is the year to refocus and consolidate Symantec’s leadership position in cybersecurity.”


During Imagine 2016, virtualisation specialists Veeam will showcase its flagship product, Veeam Availability Suite to local partners, while also providing further information on its ProPartner Program.

“With the release of Veeam Availability Suite v9 earlier in the year, this showcase provides a unique opportunity for us to demonstrate to attendees what’s new in this version as well as addressing the requirements of an Always-On enterprise,” says Peter Bender, Head of Channel and Alliances Australia and New Zealand, Veeam.

“Currently, we are focused on pushing into the enterprise market and have been identifying partners that have enterprise accounts that we can jointly sell into. And, we’re aiming to work hand in hand with our alliance partners, which include Cisco, Microsoft, Hewlett-Packard Enterprise, NetApp and VMware, to support our move into the enterprise.”

Bender says Veeam sees a “great opportunity” for its ProPartners to capitalise on the current developments happening in the industry - with the challenges legacy backup vendors are facing with regards to de-mergers and declining profits.

“For us, we see this as a ‘right time, right place, brilliant solution’ situation - we’re receiving more interest from larger organisations - when before, they were locked in with these legacy vendors however, now, things are shifting,” he adds.

“From an opportunity point of view, our ProPartners are able to wrap around professional services when they engage with larger organisations so that the customer gets the most value out of their investment – specifically, ensuring they have their environments configured correctly, ensuring they are getting the reports and information that they need.”

Going forward, Bender says Veeam will work diligently to develop some of its silver partners into gold partners this year. In addition, the company has also just launched its Veeam Certified Engineering Program (VMCE) in New Zealand on March 1.

“The VMCE program enables the reseller to offer and deliver high quality professional services, further enabling the customer to optimise their investment in Veeam solutions for a much higher ROI and improved SLAs (Service Level Agreements),” he adds.

“We’re also going to continue to improve and expand our Cloud & Service Provider Program to provide the solutions that our customers are demanding. Overall, Veeam ProPartners will see no significant changes made to our ProPartner Program - the program doesn’t need an overhaul - as we have one the best programs in the industry.”


Storage giant NetApp will be highlighting FlexPod at Imagine 2016, a world leading converged infrastructure solution powered by NetApp and Cisco.

“Partners will hear about why this solution is winning and how they can successfully deliver the solution to their customers by utilising the award winning Westcon-Comstor OneSource program,” says Neville James, Channel Director, NetApp Australia and New Zealand.

“We will also be showcasing the NetApp AltaVault Cloud-integrated storage appliance that can enable resellers to transform their customers data centre and provide real value in the cloud.”

James says NetApp has undergone a “rapid transformation” into a solution based vendor with a portfolio of products designed to provide resellers with all the necessary tools to take their customers to the cloud - private, public or hybrid.

“Our product portfolio spans small-medium business, enterprise, government and service provider and leveraging the NetApp Data Fabric will allow these businesses to manage, secure and move data across any cloud,” James adds.

James says NetApp has seen “significant growth” in the New Zealand market and is looking to continue this momentum with “committed and passionate partners” that desire to transform customers’ IT environments.

“NetApp will continue to invest in marketing and demand generation activities around our solution offerings in conjunction with our partners to continue to fuel growth,” he adds.

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At Imagine 2016, Avaya will address how the channel can help organisations adapt to a changing, digital landscape through digital transformation-as-a-service.

“The ‘smart’ revolution is well underway and today, technology executives are aligned with business leaders across all verticals – government, healthcare, education, financial services, and so on,” says Darren Read, acting Managing Director, Avaya.

“In this smart world, organisations must predict and respond to demands to effectively service and support customers and stakeholders. MSPs and SIs play a critical role in enabling this for their clients.

“Working with our local partners, our aim is to enable digital transformation for Australian and New Zealand organisations. By providing customised communications services that align to the specific needs of each client’s respective industry, we want to enable them to evolve their internal processes and better adapt to the rapidly-changing needs of their customers.”

Read believes the uptake of digital technologies will continue to rise as organisations look to capitalise on cloud-based communications, flexible networks, big data analytics and artificial intelligence.

“However, many enterprises are inhibited by extensive policies and regulations, while mid-market companies and SMBs have limited resources to execute modern communications strategies,” he adds.

“This presents a significant opportunity for the partners that invest in the necessary expertise to offer end-to-end digital transformation-as-a-service, starting at the software-defined network and all the way up the communications stack.

“Those partners will not only boost the productivity of their clients’ employees, but subsequently create augmented experiences for their clients’ customers.”

Palo Alto Networks

“Imagine 2016 is a great opportunity for Palo Alto Networks to connect with partners and customers and discuss the common challenges faced by organisations today,” says Keith Carter, Vice President, Asia Pacific Channels, Palo Alto Networks.

For Carter, these include selecting methods to determine cyber threat issues that are unique to the business, and what can be done to prevent threats from reaching their desired targets.

“Palo Alto Networks will showcase its integrated, highly automated and extensible security platform that has prevention at its core,” Carter explains. “We will also introduce our improved NextWave Channel Partner Program to our New Zealand partners.”

Carter says Palo Alto Networks is looking to continue to build its business in New Zealand, with the assistance of partners such as Westcon-Comstor, with the security vendor recently updating its NextWave Channel Partner Program.

“The updates to the program focus on three key areas: new differentiation and specialisations allowing partners to scale and strengthen their expertise in our technology; new profitability initiatives to achieve higher deal closure rates and reduce the cost of doing business; and new loyalty features which make it easier to invest in and grow with Palo Alto Networks,” Carter explains.

Through this program, Carter says Palo Alto Networks is aiming to enable local partners to become next-generation security innovators.

“This will help them create deeper relationships with their customers and increase their attached services, resulting in improved profitability,” he adds.

“We are simplifying the way we interact with and support partners, helping them build sustainable, breach prevention-focused security practices.”

F5 Networks

F5 Networks will showcasing at Westcon Imagine in New Zealand a two-fold proposition - how to move app workloads to the cloud, and then how to defend that new app perimeter once they arrive.

“Essentially we will be highlighting how an app-centric strategy helps organisations maintain control over applications in the cloud,” says Rod Thorne, Regional Sales Manager - Australia and New Zealand Commercial and Partners, F5 Networks.

“We want them to understand that by extending the same availability, performance, and security services across environments—on-premises, public cloud, private cloud, or a mix (hybrid)—organisations can be confident their apps will provide the same user experience wherever they’re deployed as the same policies that govern applications in the data centre can be applied in the cloud.”

In New Zealand, Thorne says F5’s partners have a key role to play in educating organisations about the way they can architect apps to take advantage of the hybrid cloud opportunity.

“From line of business managers to the CIO, F5 technology has a critical role to play, and channel partners can profit from driving that new conversation,” Thorne adds.

“Security, at the application layer, is also essential in removing business risk when increasing migration to public and private cloud, and partners have the opportunity to acquire new skills from F5 that will make this transition profitable for them both from customer retention and service revenues.”

APC by Schneider Electric

At Imagine 2016, APC by Schneider Electric will discuss the rise of edge computing and the Internet of Things, assessing how the world is fast becoming more digitised, to support the growth of connections.

“We will showcase Schneider Electric’s RMS "remote monitoring service”, providing clients peace of mind 24/7, that their infrastructure in always online,” says Jason Molloy, Business Development Manager New Zealand and Pacific Islands, Schneider Electric.

“Edge computing offers significant opportunity for APC by Schneider Electric partners because it promises the creation of numerous small datacentres or server closets that will all require some or all of the same sort of infrastructure as larger datacentres, including racks, power, cooling and control software.”

To register for Westcon-Comstor Imagine 2016, please click here