Distributor Westcon has revealed a business process outsourcing (BPO) firm with operations in Romania will take charge of some of its EMEA finance and operations functions. Parent company Datatec announced yesterday that 300 of Westcon's 1,900 EMEA staff would be affected by a "BPO transformation" of its EMEA operations.
Westcon senior vice president David Grant revealed a phased migration of the functions in question will occur between now and mid-2017 and insisted service levels for resellers would not be affected. Although Grant was not in a position to divulge Westcon's BPO partner, he described it as a global outfit "in the top-right of the Gartner Magic Quadrant". "We separated our activities into those we see as transactional and those that add value to the customers and vendors," he said. "Anything that is very transactional we have decided to outsource to another organisation as it gives us scale and efficiency."
The outsourcing project will run alongside Westcon's impending European implementation of a global SAP project, Grant said, adding that affected employees may be offered other roles in the organisation. "It is not a case of everything changing on day one," he said. "Where roles are affected we will give people significant advance notice, as it's the responsible thing to do. We are growing, and while some transactional roles will be eliminated from the business, some new opportunities will be created so we will take as much time as we can to retrain and redeploy staff where it is appropriate to us."
Westcon, which operates through the Comstor and Westcon brands, has order-processing staff in 42 countries in EMEA, Grant said, adding that any staff whose roles are displaced will be offered the choice of staying on to help with the migration. Employee and other fees associated with the migration will cost parent Datatec about €11.5m in its current financial year.
Rival distributor Ingram Micro centralised more EMEA back-office functions to Sofia in Bulgaria last year.
Grant said it made more sense for Cisco, Avaya, Polycom, Juniper and Check Point partner Westcon to partner with a BPO outfit with knowledge of the region. "We have chosen an organisation where it is their core business to provide business processes and support," he said. "We are not experts in sourcing a facility or finding local language specialists and training them on what we do."
Romania, which is where the BPO firm in question will carry out Westcon's transactional work, was ranked fourth in an index of the top global BPO locations this year carried out by Cushman & Wakefield, behind Vietnam, the Philippines and Bulgaria. Grant emphasised that Westcon's "core value-add" will be retained in-house and claimed that neither customer service levels nor its ability to execute would be affected by the move. "Our top 10 vendor partners have all offered to make sure there is good knowledge transfer and are helping to train our BPO staff," he said. "If you think about it, most of our major vendors have some part of their organisation that is outsourced so are completely familiar with what support they can give us."
Graeme Watt, EMEA president at rival distributor Avnet Technology Solutions, confirmed his company has also made some steps towards centralising transactional functions, "but nothing like on the scale we are seeing with Westcon". "It is fair to say that everybody is looking to see how much of that non-technical, more run-rate, transactional operations they can centralise," he said. "We have been talking about it for a while and we will centralise functions and operations where we think it makes sense and keep things local where we think it makes sense." (source: Channelweb United Kingdom).
Pulse Secure, a specialist in access and mobile security solutions to enterprise and service providers, and WestconGroup have signed a distribution agreement under which Westcon will market and distribute Pulse Secure's full line of SSL VPN and Mobile Security solutions including the latest centralised management, policy control and governance console, Pulse One, in Europe. All these products are available through Westcon Security offices inAustria, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. Pulse Secure solutions are unique, in offering the customer easy to deploy and rigorously governed access solutions for modern BYOD and Cloud environments. They are easy to configure, install and deploy out of the box in as little as 30 minutes. Pulse One provides added visibility through a single collective view of compliance including security alerts and appliance health checks. "The expansion of Pulse Secure's distributor network reflects growing acceptance of our mobile security solutions and increasing demand for our products incorporating advanced security features," said Doug Erickson, VP Worldwide Partners at Pulse secure. "We are delighted to work with a proven distributor such as WestconGroup. They have an impressive track record of helping VARs effectively sell technology solutions to a wide variety of customer organisations. The agreement ensures a comprehensive sales engagement process for Pulse Secure's channel and better addresses global needs with our new Connect Now Partner program."
"Our solution provider partners count on WestconGroup to identify, help bring to market and support technologies that solve business issues and position them as business advisors", said Willem de Haan, senior vice president and practice lead of Westcon Security Solutions, EMEA. "The Pulse Secure portfolio – supported by Westcon Security Solutions – enables our partners to manage and enforce a BYOD security strategy that can distinguish them in the fast-changing IoT landscape."
In response to growing demand for innovative security solutions, infrastructure VAD WestconGroup has expanded its portfolio across Europe to include leading DDoS and advanced threat protection solutions from Arbor Networks. The two companies currently have an agreement to carry Arbor's DDoS solutions in Latin America and the Middle East. The expansion into Europe (the exact list of encompassed countries being yet unknown, the current distributor in most Western European countries being currently Exclusive Networks) is part of WestconGroup's aggressive strategy to bring emerging, category-leading technologies to market more quickly and on a global scale through its recently announced incubation program. "Arbor is primed to accelerate its growth at a time when solution providers and their customers need the ability to research, detect and mitigate network-based threats on a global scale," said Anthony D'Angelo, vice president of global partner management, emerging vendors and incubation, at WestconGroup. "With joint investment from both companies, the incubation program provides them with the infrastructure and the support to make that happen." Under the new agreement, European solution providers have access to a broad offering of Arbor solutions, including:
"Protection against advanced security threats and DDoS attacks represent a huge opportunity for solution providers to offer to customers of all sizes across the globe," said Jeremy Nicholls, Arbor Networks vice president of Channels & Alliances. "WestconGroup understands that and has been a tremendous partner to help get our solutions available in a consistent manner to a wider base of solution providers and their global customers. Their incubation program has accelerated our success in the LATAM and Middle East markets, and we expect aggressive growth as we continue the rollout of our global expansion with Westcon into the European region."
South Africa: multispecialist Westcon Group has unveiled its new 4000sqm warehouse and offices in the Waterfall Estate Office Park, in Midrand, providing customers and partners with a one-stop distribution experience. The new offices have excellent access to Johannesburg, Pretoria and the airport, and a direct link to all major highways in the Gauteng province. They are the central hub and head office for the southern Africa region, and its 4000 sqm warehouse boasts 189 bays of racking; each rack's frame is 7.8 metres tall; and there are over 408 bins available for the storage of small parts. It includes four prep rooms, situated alongside the warehouse to assist with the flow of product between environments, as well as with the security of products. Here partners can prep equipment on behalf of their end-user customers. Additionally, a customer services facility adjoins the warehouse with direct vehicle access for customers looking for more convenient collections and drop-offs, which then doubles up as the 24-hour access area for the backup store facility. The warehouse offers an integrated, state-of-the-art security system, making use of products from the brands WestconGroup currently has in its portfolio of security products, and which can also be seen demonstrated at the customer experience centre. The company is currently the registered and authorised MEA training partner and academy for vendor partners Blue Coat, F5, Palo Alto and Juniper through its Security BU. While all of its trainers are highly skilled and certified experts within their fields, it does on occasion, and when needed, fly in trainers from abroad to facilitate training. Another asset is the new Customer Experience Centre, which provides the Westcon Group sales and technical teams an environment where they can "demonstrate" how the technologies work. It has been designed to provide customers with a hands-on view of different vendor technologies and how they integrate with other technologies within the WestconGroup offerings. As an example, the Comstor component of the Customer Experience Centre is currently showcasing the power of a Cisco UCS Flex Pod, running the Cisco Unified Communication (BE6K) platform as well as a Symantec server – highlighting the interoperability of the systems. Other key notable additions to the environment include three video conferencing rooms, a canteen and a gym, and entertainment areas all add to ensuring the offices provide staff, customers, partners and visitors a welcoming experience.
WestconGroup opens office in Mpumalanga
South Africa: multispecialist WestconGroup has opened an office in Nelspruit in order to serve more efficiently its customers in Mpumalanga region. Mpumalanga continues to thrive as a province, both economically and from a social development position. The province is considered SA's corridor between Mozambique and Swaziland and houses over 10% of the country's population. Moreover, Mpumalanga boasts flourishing mining, agriculture and tourism sectors to name a few. The new Nelspruit offices will seek to service customers throughout the province through the provision of access to more than 50 vendor products across its seven divisions including: Comstor (WestconGroup's Cisco-dedicated business), Unified Communications and Collaboration Solutions, Consumer Solutions, Mobility Solutions, Data and Electronic Security Solutions and Cloud and Software Solutions business practices, as well as its Services business.
Westcon Security Solutions - South African Branch
Westcon Security Solutions - South African Branch
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