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Westcon-Comstor launches PartnerCentral marketplace
After a couple of years of development, the channel player introduces a platform based on partner feedback
Westcon-Comstor has cut the ribbon on its PartnerCentral marketplace as it looks to deliver more support for partners and a subscription platform for vendors.
As well as offering software, hardware and services, the marketplace is a place for partners to access Partner Insights, providing information on their own business and what’s happening at the customer level.
The distie recently shared research that revealed a desire across the channel for marketplaces to be more than just transactional platforms.
“Our partners want us to provide a digital interface to help their transformation into more efficient, data-driven businesses. They want insights that help them understand the opportunities before their customers ask for them. They want a marketplace to help them easily procure and manage hardware, software and services,” said Patrick Aronson, chief marketing officer at Westcon-Comstor.
“We are bringing a new marketplace to the channel community, but we’re doing it in a way that ensures we keep, and build on, our value-added, customer-focused heritage,” he added.
PartnerCentral has been in the works for the past couple of years, with Westcon-Comstor’s chief technology officer, Rakesh Parbhoo, driving the distributor’s efforts.
“We’ve noticed this trend, going back a couple of years. Subscription service is not new, but the adoption is changing rapidly by end customers, and ultimately that drives our partners to change their way of going to market. They look to us to help them,” he said.
Rakesh Parbhoo, Westcon-Comstor
Parbhoo added that in parallel, vendors had also changed their approach, moving more to subscriptions, so the world had changed, and in its position as a distributor, Westcon-Comstor was looked to by both manufacturers and resellers to respond.
He said the distie had set out to build a marketplace that offers value and support and makes life easier for partners.
“We see this as a competitive advantage, because some of the capability we have built out today is class leading and does things our partners have been asking for. As we look forward, we’ve got a roadmap of development already from partner feedback, who’ve been involved in helping us pilot this, and we want to continuously enhance it,” Parbhoo said.
“We see this as a journey and a continued investment moving forward, not a one-off product launch,” he added.
“With PartnerCentral, we’re building on the business transformation journey we have been on for the past five years, shifting to the second wave of a more automated, digital engagement. In doing this, we are giving our partners the support they need to evolve their offerings at the right time and in the right pace,” Parbhoo said.
Distribution has embraced the marketplace concept and is now seen as an essential offering, along with warehousing, logistics and credit.
“These are the new investments you’ve got to make in a digital world, and all of this plugs together in a framework. We’ve been on a journey around integrations with our vendors’ journey, making sure we can we have a better capability to manage the data we have and to be able to analyse it, as well as our own process optimisation in turn. All of that fits together with what we’re able to provide our partners in PartnerCentral,” he said.