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Westcon opens up about Romanian outsourcing move

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).

Westcon ME launches ‘Westcon Academy’

Middle East: VAD Westcon Middle East's participation at GISEC 2015 saw the launch of their new initiative "Westcon Academy", an end-user technical training programme. According to Christopher Green, Divisional Director at WestconGroup, Westcon Security has a comprehensive range of cyber-security solutions of any value added distributor in the region. In each security risk space, they work with leading vendors such as Algosec, Arbor Networks, Aruba Networks, Blue Coat, Dell, F5, Forescout, HP, Juniper and Palo Alto Networks. In order to build secure wired and mobile infrastructures, partners and end users must engage multiple technologies and Westcon Security is uniquely positioned to assist their partners in this challenge. "Aside from having a robust product portfolio, we also have a highly qualified team of security consultants that work with clients during pre-sales, design and proof of concept stages. In addition we also provide best-in-class professional services, training and ‘24x7x365’ customer service support. GISEC is the ideal platform for us to showcase these capabilities" he added. During the event they have highlighted their product portfolio and resource capabilities. With over 15 years of expertise, certified instructors with strong field experience, a dedicated lab for technical training and local language capabilities, Westcon Academy offers enterprises an unparalleled range of technical programs, both certified and non-certified (source: Reseller ME).

Ruckus Wireless and Westcon Group expand distribution partnership

Middle East: wireless infrastructure vendor Ruckus Wireless has expanded its distributor agreement with network, security and telecom VAD Westcon Group to cover the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and Levant region for all its Smart Wi-Fi solutions.

Aruba appoints Westcon

This is the 20000th information published on ITdistri website since we launched this newsfeed, in december 2005 ! Mobile-defined network vendor Aruba, which has been recently acquired by HP, has inked a distribution partnership with the UC&C division of VAD Westcon. The partnership encompasses Denmark, France, the Middle East, South Africa, Spain and Sweden.

snom technology propels expansion course with new majority shareholder HeidelbergCapital

German IP phone vendor snom technology has acquired a new anchor investor. Through its private equity fund II, HeidelbergCapital is now the majority shareholder of snom. The resulting increase in capital stock is considerable and will lay the groundwork for the consistent expansion course at snom that the new executive team is committed to. The new board has three members: Nadahl Shocair (CEO), Thomas Müller-Braun (CFO) and Olivier Gerling (CSO). The injected capital will allow snom technology to invest more in R&D and to lauch its own financing offer, named snom Finance. Snom financing will be used by resellers and distributors, either under snom's name or their own brand, to finance not only IP phones, but full IP phone infrastructures, including networks and IPBX from other vendors. This offer is all the more important as it will allow end customers to buy into a technology they may not have been able to purchase. Snom finance will be available through all official snom distributors in the EMEA region.


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