The cloud is just another string to our bow, says Westcon

Cloud has put a cat amongst the pigeons in distribution but Westcon bosses say it is something to be embraced, not feared

The cloud is having a palpable impact on the channel, specifically distribution, with many naysayers heralding the end of traditional delivery models. However, Westcon’s EMEA executive vice president, Jeremy Butt says that distribution is not dead – it is simply evolving.

“It is an incremental opportunity to our business and for our resellers. People that talk about the death of distribution because of cloud – that is absolutely not going to happen,” Butt told Microscope. “As cloud gains traction, we actually find ourselves selling more traditional products because it requires infrastructure and end-points around it. We’ve embraced it.”

Westcon recently acquired cloud aggregation platform Verecloud for an undisclosed sum. The newly attained platform will form the backbone of the distributor’s cloud delivery strategy.

“We started working with Verecloud a couple of years ago and so it was a logical extension to actually buy the company so that we have our own platform available now and in the future.,“ Butt said.

Could such a brazen move to align itself with cloud cause a backlash from the vendor community? 

Tony Nevill, UK & Ireland MD

Tony Nevill, Westcon's UK and Ireland managing director says that vendors have welcomed the news with open arms.

“The vendors I’ve spoken to are delighted that we have made such a significant commitment to cloud. We’ve been transacting cloud based business without an aggregation platform for a couple of years now and I think to be able to present these solutions in a state-of-the-art, sophisticated web-store environment will open the opportunity up to a wider range of partners.”

Butt was keen to stress that the decision to embrace the cloud would not lead to the tail wagging the dog.

“We have been selling solutions and products that are already in the cloud but our approach has been that we don’t rush out and take on vendors just because they have cloud solutions. We look for solutions that make sense for our customers – it doesn’t matter whether it’s on premise or in the cloud.”

Westcon has undergone a range management changes in recent months. As well as appointing Dolph Westerbos as CEO at the start of the year, Westcon has brought in the now former CEO of Verecloud, John McCawley, to take charge of the organisation’s cloud strategy. Heading up cloud operations in EMEA is Scott Tolley who has been appointed cloud solutions business development director for the region.

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