Westcon rewrites the rulebook on cloud distribution

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Westcon rewrites the rulebook on cloud distribution
Dave Rosenberg, Westcon

Westcon has launched its own cloud marketplace, along with a guidebook for resellers making the shift to annuity revenues.

At the Sydney leg of its Imagine conference, the distributor revealed details of Westcon Cloud Distribution Services, along with its Business Transformation Playbook, which offers support on reselling cloud services.

[Check out photos from Westcon Imagine]

In his welcoming address, Westcon's newly appointed managing director, Dave Rosenberg, said: "Our strategy is twofold: one, it is to support those who want to build cloud services themselves; and secondly, it is about providing a platform for those who want to resell cloud services."

Westcon has spent around two years building its cloud platform, with at least a year spent doing a "significant amount of work" to negotiate complex legals around licensing, service-level agreements and authorised use policies, said Darryl Grauman, Westcon's newly appointed APAC head of cloud and services.

Grauman said the platform would span infrastructure-as-a-service, platform-as-a-service, network management, storage and backup, unified communications and more.  

This Westcon cloud catalogue is a series of cloud services that resellers can on-sell to end users via their own branded web stores. Westcon is making this syndication platform available to resellers for end users to manage purchasing, licensing and billing.

Where Westcon brings value is around the complex administration involved in subscription services. "It is very difficult for certain people with their systems to do things like monthly consumption-based billing – that's bloody hard," said Grauman.

He added that the Westcon cloud platform includes support for consumption-based billing and marketing campaigns.

The idea is that resellers can procure complex solutions directly from the cloud portal, freeing them up to focus on implementation, integration, development, migration and managed services.

Guidebook for growth

Westcon has also created its Business Transformation Playbook to help resellers develop a business strategy, said Grauman. "When resellers start to want to sell cloud services, a lot of them are ingrained in the old world of hardware and software – and the question they have is, 'How do we transition?'

"So we have created a business playbook aimed at C-level execs to help them transition their business from just a standard procurement and services business to an annuity procurement business," he added.

Using the playbook, Westcon will work with senior execs from reseller companies around things like identifying opportunities, building a cloud team, and figuring out the right products to launch.

The playbook includes templates on reconstructing a balance sheet as well as writing sales commission plans during the shift from product and services to annuities.

Westcon Cloud Distribution Services were first trialled in New Zealand, and will be launched in Australia before being rolled out to the US and UK.

The competition between disties in cloud procurement is heating up, with both Avnet and Distribution Central revealing their own approaches in the past month.

Westcon Imagine 2014 was held at the Sofitel on Collins in Melbourne on Wednesday 20 August and at the Hilton in Sydney on Wednesday 27 August.

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