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Cisco partners have a problem. They’ve spent years investing in the tech giant’s equipment and certifications, only to come up in recent years against The Cloud. Now, organizations want opex options for everything from servers to disaster recovery. And those demands threaten hardware revenue. Cisco itself is making some progress in cloud technologies, but not as quickly as many partners might like.
Enter Comstor. The Cisco-focused division of distributor Westcon Group on Tuesday debuted a white-label platform that lets partners launch cloud managed services within 90-120 days.
“That’s a big deal," said David McNicholas, director of strategic business development at Comstor US.
Comstor didn’t do this alone. Indeed, it created what’s probably an industry first: a distributor teaming with a systems integrator to create a resellable product.
To that point, Comstor has partnered with Presidio, a Cisco SI that offers hosted virtual machines and file servers, as well as load balancing and disaster recovery. Presidio provisions its IaaS through Peak, another Cisco-centric company.
On top of that, Comstor is pairing its Executive Relevance Selling (ERS) methodologies with the Presidio white-label platform. That way, VARs may train their employees in the following areas: how to discuss technology investments with business executives; how to create ROI models customized to each client; and how to create demand-generation activities.
And through that combination, Cisco resellers get a whole new opportunity.
“The VARs now can go to their customers, and have a material impact and deliver what the promise of cloud is supposed to be – a better way of doing business, of driving greater operating cash position, lowering operating expenses, all the tactical benefits we all hear about and nobody has been able to deliver because the two most expensive things in the data center are people and power," McNicholas said.
With Comstor-Presidio, however, VARs now can use all of their Cisco investments – from architects and engineers to equipment – to offer hybrid cloud services to their customers.
This, said McNicholas, not only makes use of resellers’ “tribal knowledge of Cisco," but it also frees end users’ IT staff from babysitting so-called “blinky lights" and instead applying their expertise to growing and transforming a business. With that in mind, the new Comstor service targets the CIO and higher.
“If you had to put one tagline on this, what we are proposing is that VARs get out of the business of selling technology and into the business of selling cash flows and quantifiable outcomes," McNicholas said. “We’ve been saying that for five years."