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BlueSky gets brighter as Westcon ramps up cloud services

30 Jun 2015

Westcon is ramping up its BlueSky cloud services in New Zealand, with version 4 due soon, and an expanded catalogue of vendors available.

The distributor recently expanded its distribution deal with Cisco, opening the doors for Westcon to offer a wider portfolio of Cisco offerings from August.

That expansion gave Westcon access to Cisco’s full portfolio, expanding its focus on the vendor’s data centre solutions to incorporate a broader range including networking, collaboration and security.

Darryl Grauman, Westcon APAC services and cloud director, says “Up until a couple of weeks ago, we didn’t have access to the full range of Cisco products in New Zealand, so we didn’t actually launch the Cisco products as part of our catalogue. But now we can.

“They’ve got some great stuff,” Grauman adds.

“WebEx is a lifeline for me as I travel and my bosses travel. And now Cisco also have Spark and their Meraki wireless service, and their ScanSafe product.

“Cisco are one of our largest partners and they’re giving us some amazing support,” Grauman says.

“You’ll see us come to market with a big Cisco launch, but we can only do that in New Zealand from 01 August, because we only get access to the full Cisco portfolio on that date.”

Westcon has also signed up Purple WiFi, a leader in guest Wi-FI marketing and analytics, enabling detailed data capture through multiple social media platforms, a few weeks ago and has added the vendor to BlueSky.

“We have a global arrangement with Purple and have sunk a lot of money into Purple to do fully automated provisioning via API via our Blue Sky portal,” Grauman says.

The expanded portfolio comes as the distributor gears up to launch version 4 of the BlueSky platform in New Zealand.

Grauman says the company is currently working through a migration plan for version 4.

“I’ve been up nights with our US team planning what our migration looks like: time frames, web stores, you name it.”

Grauman says the BlueSky 4 platform provides a new look and feel.

“It’s great. It’s very blue, but a lot smoother than the current one we’ve got, where the user interface is a little clunky.”

Westcon launches BlueSky in Australia this week after running ‘undercover’ for the last month and a pilot release will go live in the United States in July.

A cloud optimisation platform has also been rolled out locally.

Grauman says the client optimisation and analytics portal offers the potential for resellers to substantially reduce costs for clients, or alternatively, increase their own margins.

“If a reseller has 10 customers with Amazon, Google, Openstack and Azure cloud account, this allows them to look across all those accounts and see how they can optimise those accounts from a department level to a customer level up to a reseller level.”

He says resellers will be able to see if they are deploying the right applications and services on the right infrastructure, and that utilisation is at its best possible level and that it has been attached to the right up-front payment or usage based fee.

“It will even give them a view as to the current costs that they could save in each customer and give them recommendations on what they can do to the environment that will bring the costs down for the end user or conversely increase their margin.”

Grauman says across 100 cloud accounts being monitored by the platform, he can see at a dashboard view that if MSPs followed the advice provided in the portal they could gain savings of $250,000 in cloud services for customers.

“We don’t believe anyone else in the region can come close to what we have here,” he says.

Later this year the distributor will release financing for cloud transactions.

“You’ll be able to buy virtual inventory up front,” Grauman says.

“Westcon Finance will be launching extra packages for cloud services in the August-September time frame.” And the advances won’t stop there, Grauman says.

“We have some great initiatives with vendors like Cisco and Avaya to be able to turn voice products – IPtel products into cloud consumption based financial models.

“I don’t think anyone else has a range of offerings like we have.”

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