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Westcoast unveils iQuote HP portal

Microscope contributor

Westcoast has unveiled a micro-portal that allows resellers to configure HP ProLiant servers, check stock availability, pricing and order online.

The distributor has been using iQuote internally, developed by channelcentral.net and authorised by HP, but has now decided to open it up to trade customers. 

Configuring complex servers and seeking aggressive prices can be time consuming, said Alex Tatham, sales and marketing director at Westcoast.

"[iQuote] frees up technical teams' time on the volume server business allowing them to focus on HP's more complex infrastructure deals," he said.

Tim Moyle, channelcentral.net director, said creating an online configuration and e-commerce tool was too costly for many resellers.

"iQuote enables channel players to have a Dell type solution that customises HP ProLiant servers which are already stocked in distribution," he said.

Several years ago, HP decided to shelve its Smart Choice portal - a similar system to iQuote - because it claimed the cost and time involved in developing the tool was not matched by end-customer requirements to configure.

However, the vendor appears to have thrown its weight behind iQuote which primarily centres on servers in the Top Value range and highlights the ability to attach options, driving up margins for HP and the channel partner.

David Matthews, ISS Business Unit Manager at HP said it had helped Westcoast to develop iQuote over the past half year, which he reckoned would lead to a higher number of quotes and sales.

The tool was given a warm appraisal by Loay Lawrence, commercial and marketing director at Vohkus: "Anything that helps to ease sales and smooth the supply chain in this industry has to be welcomed."


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