Louise Taute is both humbled and excited by her new role heading up Westcon-Comstor Southern Africa. It’s a well-deserved promotion, and one that demonstrates Westcon-Comstor’s diverse and inclusive work culture in a male-dominated IT world. Here she reveals her secrets of partner success.
Throughout my career at Westcon-Comstor, there has been one consistent driver of partner success – the value of partnership. Whether it’s deep strategic relationships with vendors to align and support their go-to-market, or supporting, guiding, and mentoring our reseller partners to help drive the adoption of these new technologies and secure business growth.
The value of these trusted partnerships is as important in my new role as it was in my previous role, where I managed the Comstor Southern Africa business and long-term relationships with both Cisco and NetApp were the foundation of our shared success.
Partnership in practice
What does this partnership mean in practice? In terms of our vendors, they rely on us to take their products and services to market and educate and enable our partner base. For our partners, they rely on the services they need to support business growth, for instance pre-sales support, professional services, vendor certification training, logistics, and much more. We also often help to finance deals with credit facilities to help drive adoption of new technologies and unlock more opportunities.
People want to work with us
Larger resellers work with us because of our global footprint and inventory, and our in-depth knowledge of vendor solutions, programmes, and processes. Mid-market resellers appreciate how we invest our time, money, and resources into their business. But they all value our digital capabilities which drive operational efficiency and compliance. They trust us because of the accuracy, reliability, and transparency of our digital tools.
Enabling a digital business
For example, our PartnerCentral marketplace, moves them closer to their digital business with all the tools, analytics, and data they need to purchase, procure and transact easily. It simplifies and expands their cloud business too, without the need to invest in their own platforms, billing systems or analytics. We pull data directly from our sales tools and vendor systems via APIs in real time, which streamlines their back-office functions and reduces the risk of errors.
Delivering partner outcomes
Partner success is more than just about transactions, it’s now about achieving outcomes. Partners look to us to guide them around new technologies and new vendors – onboarding the right vendors depending on their strategy. We take a good look at their business, their strategy and work out a tailor-made growth plan for them. They want us not only to deliver logistically, giving them the best price and best product at the right time, but also to guide them on future opportunities that will allow them to grow. For example, we help them on their journey to the cloud with solutions to help them manage that shift financially. We help them prepare for the impact cloud is going to have on their business when they start transitioning to recurring revenue.
We succeed together
Partner success to me, is about growth and profitability. By working together, trusting each other to deliver, we will succeed together. If our partners are profitable and growing, then so are we.