Westcon-Comstor Sub-Saharan Africa, a leading global distributor, today announced the launch of the CloudPlace partner programme, offering partners a seamless means to connect and onboard onto cloud vendor marketplaces with the distributor as their simple point of contact.

As the importance and relevance of cloud marketplaces grow, partners face a challenge in navigating the administrative workload required to onboard and start transacting in the cloud while selling different Independent Software Vendor (ISV) technologies. Starting with the Azure Marketplace and with plans already in the mix to expand this to other cloud vendor solutions, Westcon-Comstor is kicking off its CloudPlace programme with its first go-to-market providing a taste of what the programme can offer when selling NetApp on Azure.

Luke Bainbridge.

“We want to simplify the process of getting our partners transacting in a cloud marketplace. And are committing to taking away the admin pain, supporting them with key skills, and ensuring they have all the certifications they need to start transacting in the cloud,” said Luke Bainbridge, ISV Channel Manager, Westcon-Comstor Sub-Saharan Africa. “Starting with Azure, we have already defined an ISV solution-sell with NetApp as a starting point. Fundamentally, CloudPlace lets resellers leverage our Azure and ISV partner relationships, in this case, NetApp, to build out bespoke cloud solutions for their customers. In short, we help partners insert themselves into the cloud-sale.”

With CloudPlace, Westcon-Comstor manages all the administrative functions required by the Azure Marketplace. This means resellers can remain focused on achieving their strategic objectives while not having to worry about setting up and managing the requirements of the Azure Marketplace. CloudPlace is designed to fast-track the delivery of multi-vendor ISV cloud solutions directly from the marketplace. And it also caters for ISVs looking to themselves onboard their solutions to the marketplace and start selling these from there.

As part of the CloudPlace partner programme, Westcon-Comstor partners can leverage the distributor’s reach and buying power to tap into significant discounts and volume discounts. They also benefit from one contact, one bill, and the ability to leverage the technical expertise and teams of Westcon-Comstor instead of having to upskill or onboard their own. To this end, they can also add services and certifications to their cloud sale and further benefit from being part of the customer’s cloud journey.

The first offering the Westcon-Comstor cloud team is bringing to market for its CloudPlace partners is the NetApp Cloud Volumes ONTAP (CVO) program. This solution lets customers optimise their cloud storage costs and performance while enhancing data protection, security, and compliance. With CloudPlace, Westcon-Comstor ensures that a partner is onboarded as a Microsoft partner and then has access to the NetApp solutions – without them needing to jump through a host of certification hoops.

So, while the Bill of Materials (BOM) is created, the transaction is usually different because Westcon-Comstor handles everything. The distributor takes care of the complex billing, margins, and discounts processes. It can even arrange special offers for the customer.

“Instead of having our resellers needing to set up everything from scratch, we do it on their behalf. From negotiating the offer, setting up payment methods, and creating an account, our resellers can easily add the terms to the BOM with Westcon-Comstor making the offer available to the customer from inside their Azure console.

“The ICT market is continually evolving. Platforms like the Azure Marketplace will play an increasingly important part in equipping resellers with an environment to aid business growth. And with CloudPlace, the transition to unlock that value is made possible far quicker than trying to do it on their own. Watch this space as we commit to expanding CloudPlace to a wider net of ISVs and cloud partners,” concludes Bainbridge.


About Westcon-Comstor

Westcon-Comstor Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) is part of the Middle East and Africa (MEA) subsidiary of the Westcon-Comstor Group. A global technology provider and specialist distributor, operating in more than 70 countries. It delivers business value and opportunity by connecting the world’s leading IT vendors with a channel of technology resellers, systems integrators and service providers. It combines industry insight, technical know-how and more than 30 years of distribution experience to deliver value and accelerate vendor and partner business success. It goes to market through two lines of business: Westcon and Comstor.

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