Westcon gets new digs, forges ahead with Lync channel plans

Convergence distributor invests in new offices and channel training facility with an eye on broadening its UC solutions set

Networking distie Westcon Convergence has cut the ribbon on a new office facility near Gatwick and invested in a customer solution centre to let partners play around with and demonstrate multi-vendor unified comms solutions to their customers.

The firm moved a few miles up the road from its old home in Burgess Hill to Crawley at the end of May, and all staff now have transferred across into its new building, which will also serve as its European headquarters.

David Grant, Westcon Group EMEA SVP, explained that growing uptake of Microsoft Lync meant that more and more people were considering a multi-vendor approach to their comms set-up, and said that Westcon Convergence was keen to remain ahead of the curve in terms of helping the channel exploit that demand, hence its decision to open up the training and demo facility.

Besides Microsoft Lync, the facility will also support Westcon Convergence’s other core vendors, such as Avaya – which it is using to spearhead an assault on the midmarket space.

“We’re seeing a great deal of interest from the Microsoft channel looking to expand into unified comms,” Grant told MicroScope, “and of course we have a significant base of unified comms partners looking to add Microsoft to their own portfolio. There are organisations out there with legacy investments that are now badly in need of an upgrade, and I’d be fairly certain most of them will now consider Lync. It is arguably a more disruptive upgrade.

“From an Avaya perspective, their integration into the Microsoft environment is now pretty powerful, and existing Avaya resellers can begin to use both to maximise productivity for their end-users, and provide a stickier solution,” he added.

Other areas of interest for Westcon Convergence include the growth of software as a networking tool. Here it hopes to expand its portfolio to account for the growth in applications, whether on-premise or cloud, and hopes to provide its channel with an even broader solution set. To this end it has already signed up cloud network performance software specialist Virsae.

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