Westcon-Comstor launches refreshed partner portal

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Westcon-Comstor launches refreshed partner portal
Patrick Aronson, Westcon-Comstor

Global technology distributor Westcon-Comstor has officially launched its new PartnerCentral multivendor market place that allows its partners to configure, quote and order software, hardware and services.

PartnerView combines Westcon-Comstor's existing PartnerView procurement portal, and its BlueSky cloud services platform.

Westcon-Comstor partners have already had access to PartnerView for some time, a company spokesperson told CRN Australia.

It was piloted in New Zealand, an early adopter country, along with South Africa and the United Kingdom with 18 partners.

Patrick Aronson, chief marketing officer of Westcon-Comstor, told CRN Australia that the company started its first wave of digital transformation seven or eight years ago, standardising on and implementing a standard enterprise resource planning system from SAP for the entire organisation which operates in over 50 countries.

"At the time, we needed that in order to operate more effectively; I think we didn't quite realise how critical that would become for the future of our business, which is driven by data," Aronson said.

PartnerCentral itself is built in consultation with Westcon-Comstor's partners, using research focusing on United Kingdom and Australia with a study group of 300 people in senior roles.

Aronson said Westcon's researchers asked the partners how their transition was moving from a reslae model into a subscription and software-as-a-service one, but the majority said they weren't as far along as they'd like to be.

PartnerCentral is designed to accelerate the move to the new business models, by simplifying procurement and management of recurring subscription and as-a-service offers at scale.

It also provides a single platform for hybrid procurement that can mix hardware, software and services purchases with subscriptions and one-off purchases.

There will also be educational tools and materials for partners, automated pricing, quoting and ordering processes, improvements to quote accuracy, and speeded up sales cycles and easier order tracking.

Getting insight and data was critical for partners as well, Aronson said.

Among the features to launch for PartnerCentral towards the end of this month is Partner Insights, thanks to Westcon-Comstor using an agile development process.

This will provide valuable insights for partners, including descriptive analytics to help spot opportunities, understand customer and wider industry trends, and manage product renewals and subscriptions.

PartnerView aims to be more than just a place for Westcon to sell things.

"We believe that a marketplace is a place where buyers and sellers meet up, in the tradition and history of humankind," Aronson said.

"We are bringing a new marketplace to the channel community, but we're doing it in a way which ensures we keep and build on our value added, customer focused heritage," Aronson said.

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