NetApp appoints Westcon after major channel review

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NetApp appoints Westcon after major channel review

Westcon been appointed as NetApp's second Australian distributor, with Dicker Data believed to have been narrowly beaten to the account.

The Westcon partnership was revealed today, with the distie joining Distribution Central’s Fusion Systems following a review to NetApp’s channel model in Australia.

Today’s announcement comes after months of sources telling CRN that Dicker Data had essentially been given the nod, though it is now clear that the Australian-owned distie lost out at the 11th hour.

Speaking to CRN two weeks ago, Dicker Data founder David Dicker confirmed that his company thought it was a done deal until NetApp changed tack. "We got down to the two guys, we won it, then they rolled it back to two guys and my understanding is we are going to lose it."

NetApp's change of heart followed the news that Dicker Data's commercial director Chris Price had resigned, though a Dicker Data spokesperson said this had no bearing on NetApp's decision.

Channel review

NetApp went to market looking for a second distie in May, starting with six prospects and whittling this down to Westcon.

In May, Distribution Central's managing director Nick Verykios greeted news that the vendor was reviewing its distribution strategy positively, saying the company would continue to invest in NetApp. When CRN spoke to Verykios last week, he said he expected business with NetApp to continue to grow.

The Fusion Systems relationship “remains extremely strong”, said NetApp’s general manager ANZ channels and enablement Neville James today.

Westcon was selected because of the “depth” of its Cisco partnership, breadth of services capability and investment in “high-quality technical resources”, according to James. Westcon’s geographic reach and evolving cloud capability were also factors.

The partnership caps a big year for Westcon, which has a new managing director and a cloud marketplace which it launched in August. In July Westcon also revealed it had added Extreme Networks to its partner roster – another vendor that also counts Distribution Central among its partners.

The distie filled out its cloud platform last month when it announced the acquisition of Verecloud, whose technology underpins Westcon’s cloud marketplace.

In announcing the partnership today, NetApp's James alluded to a range of “complimentary vendor solutions” coming in the future.

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