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Westcoast rolls out Technology Solutions Experts initiative

Distributor looks to plug skills gap and help resellers boost their HPE business by providing dedicated experts on tap

Westcoast is offering reseller customers access to its in-house team of HPE experts to help them sell more complex IT solutions as part of a brand-new initiative for 2020.

The Technology Solutions Experts (TSE) team has been unveiled this month, with the aim of levelling the HPE playing field and giving smaller resellers a bite at the cherry.

Paul Holliday, HPE Presales Team Leader at Westcoast, said: “This initiative has come about to address recurring feedback from partners and their customers. There is a well publicised skills shortage in the channel at the moment, and we are looking to enable resellers to sell more HPE solutions by plugging those gaps, whether they are technical or sales-related. We are trying something different. It will also provide scale to partners who may only have small technical teams or those who may have resource tied up with ongoing projects.

“We are using our TSE guys to go out to partners where they don’t necessarily have the skills themselves and help them win their first big HPE deal. From the initial engagement we are confident TSE can make a big difference to our customers.”

Significant investment
Westcoast Technology Solutions (TS) Technical Director Phil LeBlond adds that Westcoast TS is committed to supporting its reseller partners and their customers and has made significant investment in its team to make sure it has the capability to deliver. This includes TS Experts, which, as an extension of the Reseller Sales and Presales teams, is designed to achieve better outcomes in a competitive market by working together.

“In the past we have stayed away from any direct contact with customers, but now we can show up with our partners and help from an early stage to ensure the customer has the best possible service,” he said.

A dedicated TS Experts site has a number of experts on tap, all with specialist HPE skills, including hybrid infrastructure solutions, Greenlake and other consumption models, edge computing and partner programs.

Holliday said: “In the past, our people have been considered our best kept secret and we have decided it’s time to shout about them a little more.”

Paul Holliday

Who is eligible?
The initiative is open to any partner that is willing to engage and grow with Westcoast, regardless of their current size.

“We want to work with partners that have the desire to sell HPE products,” said LeBlond. “HPE has its own channel programme and we have our internal programme called Ignite Plus. We are keen to partner with those that want to climb up the HPE partner programme. Ideally, they would be selling HPE already, or perhaps looking to transition away from Dell or another vendor, but they need to enhance their skills to initiate that first conversation with a customer.

“For Westcoast, this is about growing the business rather than just being reactive. We are encouraging resellers to sign up to Ignite Plus and then we will help them scale the HPE partner programme.

Chance to diversify
Holliday points out that the initiative will also help partners that are looking to diversify from what they are already doing.

“We had one partner that had been successfully selling Apple into the education space for a number of years, but after looking at the growth and margin opportunity in that space decided they wanted to do something different. We put them into the programme and helped them engage. They are now flying,” he said.

“What we are also trying to do is level the playing field for partners that perhaps felt they didn’t stand a chance against some of the more well established names in the HPE channel. This is to show them that’s not the case.”

As the initiative gains traction, Westcoast is keen to raise further awareness among end users and channel partners, to which end it will be regularly updating the TSE website with relevant product and market developments, helping partners to maximise the opportunities on offer.

To find out more about TSE, visit the dedicated website at:

https://tse.westcoast.co.uk/

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2018