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Westcon-Comstor looks to the future post challenging SAP roll-out

The three year global roll-out of a SAP system might have hit the financial results but the distributor is trumpeting the benefits now the process is finished

It might have caused a bit of disruption and contributed to a warning to investors but Weston-Comstor is trying to highlight the positives after it completed its global SAP roll out.

The firm first deployed SAP in the US back in 2012 and then chose to roll out globally a couple of years later. That project took a total of three years and did have an impact on financial performance.

Yesterday parent company Datatec issued a warning that its fiscal year ended 28 February had been hit by the impact of the SAP roll out.

"The year over year decline in earnings is as a result of a worse than expected performance in the Company’s Westcon subsidiary
(“Westcon-Comstor”), particularly in the fourth quarter. Westcon-Comstor experienced disruption to the business as a result of the
final SAP implementation in Europe Middle East and Africa," the firm stated.

But with everything now completed the distributor has now given an insight into where it thinks the benefits of the SAP implementation will play out.

“Going live globally on SAP is game-changing for Westcon-Comstor. Over the past few years we grew our operations to every corner of the world, generating $6B in gross revenues for our vendors and customers. We could only scale further with a common business platform, which gives instant visibility in our operations with the data to make the best quality decisions,” said Dolph Westerbos, CEO of Westcon-Comstor.

“There have been challenges and we must continue to optimize, but we now have a foundation to run a truly integrated global business with much-improved analytics and data management that benefit our vendors and solution provider customers. We look forward to being even better business partners going forward," he added.

As well as using the SAP system as an ERP engine the distributor has also set up an automated quoting engine that works with the system and has integrated its BlueSky cloud and services management platform onto the business intelligence system.

Westerbos said that the end result is that the firm should be more nimble and in a position to provide a more uniform service across five continents.

SAP refused to comment on specific customer experiences but pointed to the high expectations that the distributor had from deploying its software.

"SAP applications and services enable more than 350,000 businesses, including thousands within the high-tech industry to operate profitably, adapt continuously and grow sustainably," the firm stated.

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