How 8 Distributors Are Tackling The Cloud

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Westcon Group has deployed a cloud services aggregation portal in the United Kingdom and plans to open a portal in the U.S. in early 2012, according to the distributor.

Westcon was an early adopter of cloud services internally and sees challenges for traditional solution providers looking to bring together a number of disparate point solutions into a customer-specific offering, not just a generic one, said Dean Douglas, CEO.

Early testing of Westcon's platform to do just that has drawn raves from VARs in the U.K., he said.

Once they've [built a customer-specific offering] and know how to keep current and provision and know what to bill, how to add users, delete users, add new capabilities, delete some capabilities, that's where our integration platform really makes a difference, Douglas said.

We are very confident as we bring this to market that the reseller community will find value in this platform. We've integrated into our ERP system, providing a pulse to the vendor and managing the building of the solution.

In a December blog post on LinkedIn, CTO Richard Sloane said Westcon has focused on three areas while building the platform: identifying and investing in mature cloud markets, helping resellers transition to cloud-based business models and developing new capabilities to help vendors bring their cloud services to market.

Rather than simply filling our cloud services catalog with all available services, we're focusing on the most mature cloud services (i.e., market-ready), under the assumption these are easiest for partners to market and sell to customers, Sloane wrote.

As other cloud services reach maturity, we'll add them to our catalog. This iterative approach maximizes our investment and forces Westcon to stay close to markets as they develop, he added.

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