Historically distributor Westcoast, which has been trading for 25 years, has been a volume business but today, says Scott Somenthal, their Sales Manager for Unified Communications, there is a lot more to the company.
“Our core vendors are HP, Microsoft, Toshiba, Samsung and Apple but in 2009 we started our Solutions Team. The following year, at a Microsoft partner event we saw Lync for the first time and decided immediately that we wanted to drive a UC strategy through the business to our reseller partners. Since then we have, through our Solutions Team achieved a 40% year on year growth.
We now have a dedicated channel team and a state of the art Solutions Lab at our facility in Milton Keynes where we can carry out training and live UC product demonstrations for our resellers and their customers. Demonstrations include Microsoft Lync 2013 with Lync optimised handsets and headsets as well as fixed mobile convergence applications with vendors such as Audiocodes. In fact our dedicated UC team, which includes specialist solutions architects, can build an array of solutions from our UC portfolio to almost any end user requirement around Lync and PBX integration at the desktop.”
UC solutions include products from vendors Microsoft, Audiocodes, Aastra and Sennheiser. Other vendors, including Gamma, are expected to be added shortly.
Somenthal says that Westcoast will also be launching a hosted telephony solution for his channel partners in the second half of 2013. This is expected in July.
“This means we will be able to provide the channel with a Microsoft Lync enterprise offer that integrates with the PBX from consultancy through to architect design and end user deployment for on-going support.
Initially we were attracting resellers selling HP and Microsoft solutions. These were soon joined by resellers focussing on data networking and then latterly traditional voiced based resellers working with PBX systems and selling lines and minutes.”
Westcoast has also put together an interesting and unique accreditation bundle with vendor partner Audiocodes that includes training for two reseller engineers, a sales and demonstration unit, a case study and telemarketing to up to 400 of the resellers’ end users – all for £3000.
“Quarter 2 will see Westcoast launch Lync Business Ignite with Microsoft to help resellers build a Lync Practice. This includes building a business plan with Westcoast tailored to what each individual reseller needs in the way of support. We are targeting around 15-20 partners with this exciting support plan.”