Cisco, Westcon Ink Global Distribution Deal


The three-year deal, which will kick off at the start of Cisco's fiscal fourth quarter, expands on the country- and theater-based contract between Cisco and Westcon to help partners target opportunities in areas where they may not have been able to do so in the past.

"Globalization is one of our top priorities at Cisco," said Dave O'Callaghan, Cisco's vice president of distribution, worldwide channels. "There's been a clear trend from national businesses to multinational businesses to customers and partners wanting to do true global commerce."

Both Cisco and Westcon said the agreement gives the companies a single contractual vehicle to manage global, regional and local business with common terms and conditions, as opposed to the independent regional contracts offered before.

"This contract enables that global view," O'Callaghan said, adding that Westcon can now move inventory more seamlessly around the globe while giving partners the ability to build global client relationships.

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Additionally, it frees partners from the complexity of deciphering import, export and tax regulations when working with international accounts, putting that into Westcon's hands.

O'Callaghan added that the program will act as an engine for global managed services opportunities for partners as well.

Dean Douglas, Westcon CEO and president, said Westcon's Global Procurement System (GPS), its global order desks in the U.S. and U.K., will deliver automation capabilities and cross-theater support to Westcon's Cisco reseller base. The GPS will help resellers conduct cross-border transactions while also lowering Cisco's barrier to entry into emerging markets.

"As more and more of our customers look to do cross-border transactions, this makes them more consistent," Douglas said.

From a go-to-market perspective, Douglas said the deal enables Westcon to offer a more robust virtual inventory of Cisco gear and deliver products to partners in more locations. Additionally, he said, partners will experience higher fill rates and shorter lead times.

For example, in the past, if a reseller won a large contract with a global company to deploy solutions in 50 different countries, that partner would have to go into each different theater to build relationships and determine the regulatory requirements. From there, it had to be determined which products were available in which locations. Now, Westcon will help the reseller work through those issues.

"It eliminates all of that complexity for [partners]," O'Callaghan said.

Douglas added, "Partners get real consistency in the way business is done," which leads to better planning and more consistent pricing.

While Westcon is the first distributor to sign the global distribution agreement with Cisco, O'Callaghan said Cisco expects Ingram Micro and TechData to follow.

"This gives us and our partners a great reach we'd never be able to achieve on our own," he said.