2 min read

Westcon launches new SMB tool for resellers

Specialty distributor uses tool to make partner certification more cost-effective

Designed for resellers working in the North American small to medium sized business (SMB) space, Westcon Group Inc., a global specialty distributor, has introduced its onboarding tool to help partners become certified and proficient with manufacturers and products in a more cost-effective manner.

With its global headquarters located in Tarrytown, N.Y. and Canadian offices in Oakville, Ont. and Lachine, Que., Westcon made available to partners its new SMB onboarding tool to help its ConvergencePoint SMB partners through the sales process. Lynn Smurthwaite-Murphy, vice-president for Westcon Canada and SMB for North America, said the distributor focuses on stocking solutions in the specialty niche market areas which include, convergence, networking, security and mobility.

The new tool, she said, is available to partners who are enrolled in Westcon’s ConvergencePoint SMB Program, a branded program that helps and provides resources to resellers in the SMB market space. While she said the program is initially only available for Nortel’s Business Communications Manager solutions, which cater to SMBs and branch offices, she said the SMB onboarding tool will also be opened up to include Westcon’s other manufacturer partners within the next six months as well.

With respect to the ConvergencePoint SMB program in North America, she said currently, Westcon has in excess of 1,000 partners, made up of systems integrators (SIs), service providers and resellers, enrolled in it, with the majority of partners residing in the U.S. Of these members, she estimates about 10 per cent of them are Canadian resellers.

“A lot of them (resellers) focus on large enterprises and also sell into the SMB space,” Smurthwaite-Murphy said. “We have face to face trainings, lunch and learns and additional information available to them, but with the SMB onboarding tool, we wanted to find a cost-effective and virtual tool that would allow us to bring expertise and proficiencies down to partners in the SMB space too,” she added.

Partners would want to get involved with this new tool, she said, because it helps partners get ramped up to speed on vendors and products in a relatively quick and easy fashion. In addition, Smurthwaite-Murphy said partners who take advantage of this tool also have the chance to win marketing funds and other business incentives from Westcon both now and moving forward.

“Manufacturers are interested in recruiting new partners, whether they need to fill a technological, geographical or vertical market gap,” Smurthwaite-Murphy said. “For the partners who want to get certified on the manufacturer or product, it becomes costly to do that. We created an automated and engaging online tool for partners to get certified faster, because time is money.”

The onboarding tool is available free of charge to qualified members of Westcon’s ConvergencePoint SMB program and takes partners through the whole certification process step by step online. Through the tool, video training modules are also included and are used in conjunction with Westcon’s other training methods. While the time to complete the certification process varies from partner to partner, Smurthwaite-Murphy said if the partner’s committed to finishing as quickly as possible, the whole process can take anywhere between six weeks or three months.

“Everyone’s busing in our industry,” Smurthwaite-Murphy said, “so anything that can make things easier to take on a new market and vendor, would be attractive to partners because now they don’t have to send anyone to (another) city because everything can now be done through this tool. For Westcon, productivity is really important and we want to continue to reach out to more customers and increase our relationship with them by bringing on tools to improve our relationships with them.”