Westcon is investing in its SMB and services capabilities, and hopes to dispel any perceptions it is an "enterprise-only distributor".
Dionne Wheeler (pictured) has joined the comms and networking specialist as services business development manager, with the remit of driving resellers' services sales. Wheeler, who joins Westcon after an eight-year stint at integrator Azzurri, has been tasked with helping VARs drive sales of third-party services.
Tim Brooks, general manager of Westcon Convergence UK, told ChannelWeb the distributor's relationship with services provider Maintel allows VARs to streamline their use of third-party services.
"The vast majority of resellers will have third-party relationships with a number of providers and will have to maintain individual relationships. That can be cost-preventative and time-consuming," said Brooks. "What we provide through Maintel is a single relationship that is already in place through us at very advantageous pricing, so the reseller can reduce the number of third-party relationships they are having to manage."
Wheeler added: "Coming from a strong service background, I find the Westcon proposition an exciting one as it presents a compelling prospect for our partners to maximise opportunities while working with a well-established leader in distribution.
"Engaging with Westcon can extend VARs' current competencies and reach, enabling them to offer their customers support on everything from professional services for new installs through to support of legacy estates, independent of vendor or location."
Westcon is also throwing its weight behind its Avaya SMB business, as it seeks to negate the idea that it only serves the higher end of the market. It has developed the Total Support package, which intends to offer VARs a comprehensive support service for the comms vendor's IP Office range.
Resellers will benefit from a dedicated account manager, and pre-sales, tech and marketing support. Sales and technical training is also part of the deal, as is an online portal. Westcon also stressed the importance of its unrivalled UK logistics capabilities and stockholding for Avaya, and its flexible finance service.
Brooks explained that Westcon is offering to take the hit on tech support pricing changes introduced by Avaya last year. Under the new system, Avaya partners must now pay for technical support – using pre-bought hourly tickets – if the vendor's engineers deem that the issue is not a product defect.
Under the Total Support scheme, if Westcon engineers cannot resolve any problems not classed a product defect, the distributor will cough up for the vendor's tech support.
"We have hugely experienced and capable technical resource," explained Brooks.
He added that Westcon has doubled its spend on resources for IP Office resellers this year and a dedicated sales team has been implemented. A number of new partners have arrived in the wake of the predominantly SMB-focused Nimans being cut from Avaya's distribution line-up earlier this year, said Brooks.
"We have had some success with a number of partners whose perception was that Westcon was enterprise-only," he added. "But it's not only ex-Nimans partners. It is those that were previously working with other distributors. We are really serious about Avaya and growing the business."
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