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Comstor to share some US channel tips

Alex Scroxton
Cisco-distie Comstor is to take a worldwide approach to dealing with its reseller channel and reckons it can effectively walk the precarious line between friendly neighbourhood distributor and global broadline monolith.

Comstor announced the move, and the promotion of EMEA boss Jon Pritchard to run the show, last week.
 
The distributor also said it would be encouraging North American resellers to pursue contracts in Europe, and speaking to MicroScope, Jon Pritchard insisted that European partners should have nothing to fear from this.
 
"Lots of US resellers are doing deals on the basis that they can trade globally, and this is driven by what global customers want," he said. "However I'm starting to see that in Europe, too, and the smarter European partners are also starting to play that game."
 
"Resellers here won't see a huge amount of change; we are already market leader, but they may see some best practice coming in from other theatres," he added.
 
According to Pritchard US Cisco dealers had historically done well on federal contracts, and UK resellers will be encouraged to pursue more public sector Cisco contracts on the strength of their experience.
 
Peter Titmus, managing director at Cisco Silver Partner Networks First, said focusing on the public sector would be a worthwhile endeavour over the next few months.
 
"The NHS is anticipating swingeing cuts and a lot of people are looking to get big projects underway right now," he said.
 
However, he cautioned that US channel mores were often difficult to apply in the UK. "American firms tend to swap out their kit earlier, we tend to leverage ours a bit more," he explained.
 
The idea behind going global is to unify Westcon's Cisco business under one brand name and eliminate confusion among partners, customers and even Cisco employees, as well as giving partners and ultimately customers better access to Cisco kit.
 
Comstor claims that following a global distribution agreement signed with Cisco earlier this year, the vendor has been very supportive of the move.
 
As yet there is no replacement lined up to manage the distributor's European operation, said Pritchard, adding that while there was a clear need for a European head, the firm's various units were pottering along quite nicely on their own.

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