Westcon Group has unveiled its latest weapon in the fight to get Cisco partners up to speed on the vendor’s unified computing systems (UCS) technology.
The distributor has opened its first UCS demonstration facility –
LEAP Centre – in Brussels, the first of several it plans to make available
to partners across the globe.
The Brussels facility allows VARs to gain experience of using the Cisco UCS kit and hold customer demonstrations onsite and remotely.
Russell Blackburn, datacentre director at Westcon division Comstor, said the large investment needed to launch the LEAP Centre was indicative of its support for Cisco’s datacentre strategy.
“The Brussels facility will be aimed at our UK partners, but we will also be opening additional centres in Denver, Singapore and Australia.”
No restrictions will be placed on the level of partners that can use the facilities, added Blackburn. “It is a significant step by us to help a vendor with a loyal following get its partners up to date on the direction the company is moving in.”
Jim DeHaven, UK and Ireland UCS business lead at Cisco, said the centres would also benefit partners with limited resources.
He said: “It is going to help partners go to market quicker because they will not have to invest in building a similar facility for themselves.”
ANS Group was one of the first UK Cisco partners to acquire the vendor’s UCS Authorised Technology Provider (ATP) status.
Scott Fletcher, chairman of ANS Group, said: “To become an ATP partner, you have to have your own UCS facilities. It suggests Cisco might be opening up UCS to a wider range of smaller players.”
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