Industry experts and professionals have been stressing the value of partnerships with other specialists to bring total solutions to end users. Westcon Group Inc. and its subsidiaries - Comstor or Voda One - performs such matchmaking for VARs behind the scenes.
Westcon Group runs a new, invisibleto- the-reseller division called the Technology Solutions Group, or TSG. “What the TSG exists to do is to provide our subsidiaries with the tools and the solutions they need to be successful. It’s not going to change or create a new channel or a new resource at the field level,” assures Paul Cunningham, TSG’s vice president. Cunningham previously served as director of technology solutions for Westcon Group’s European operations.
The company formed TSG as it watched the industry converge to the point that partners need to sell more comprehensive service packages to mobile workforces, vertical markets and more. TSG is made up of a technical director and managers who specialize in technology disciplines. TSG’s staff pinpoints the right vendor partners for certain markets, then creates programs to deliver solutions through the channel. The division’s goal, then, is to help Westcon Group sell more through channel partners, while helping those partners be more effective, Cunningham says.
TSG has no interaction with partners’ end users.
So how does the process work? Cunningham says a reseller might bring a bid or a deal to Westcon or Comstor with the knowledge that the technology will be based on a generic vendor platform, such as Cisco or Avaya. The reseller needs someone who, for example, can help engineer the application. This is where TSG experts come in.
So far, Westcon Group’s partners are optimistic and welcoming of the TSG. “Westcon Group has taken its holistic solutions approach to the next level,” says Chris Peterson, vice president of OEM and channel sales at Secure Computing Corp. “In a world of complex applications and hybrid installations, it is critical that solutions address a targeted, underlying business need. Westcon Group’s highly disciplined approach helps achieve this focus.”
Marshall Sherman, CEO of Ghost Software Ltd., a U.K.-based solutions provider, agrees. “Our end-user installations are becoming increasingly specialized,” he says. “Whether it’s a mobility installation at a hospital to comply with health care requirements or a business continuity installation for a government facility, we need to get the solution right the first time and it often involves a matrix of technologies and vendors. Technology Solutions Group is an example of how Westcon Group is taking specialty distribution to a completely new level.”
Secure Computing Corp. www.securecomputing.com
Voda One www.vodaone.com
Westcon Group Inc. www.westcongroup.com