Comstor adds Tandberg videoconferencing line

Bill Corbin Westcon Group

Bill Corbin, EVP of global vendor relationships, Westcon

Comstor, Westcon Group’s Cisco-focused business unit, has added the videoconferencing products picked up by the networking vendor in its Tandberg acquisition to its linecard.

While the distributor has long offered the high end of the Cisco TelePresence portfolio, adding the Tandberg lineup to the family represents a much broader channel opportunity, the distributor said. As recently as this month’s Cisco Partner Summit 2011 in New Orleans, the networking vendor has stated that video makes up nearly half of all network traffic, and it forecasts that to grow to upwards of 90 per cent over the next few years.

“This enables our partner base to do more with Cisco and capture more wallet share by really getting these video solutions into the end user,” said Bill Corbin, executive vice president of global vendor relationships at Westcon.

While TelePresence is largely focused at the Fortune 500 and service provider markets, Corbin sees a much broader – and largely untapped – opportunity in the midmarket for solution providers offering videoconferencing solutions. Cisco’s decision to integrate its TelePresence partner programs, Corbin suggested, goes a long way to making that opportunity a realistic one for the midmarket-focused VAR.

Comstor will aim its training and enablement efforts around the Tandberg lineup to a broad spectrum of solution providers, including those who are new to the video side of the market, and those who have previously sold either or both the high end with TelePresence or the low end with Cisco’s WebEx family or a variety of competing products.

It’s the latest push into new fields for the distributor, which has been “migrating partners are efficiently as we can” to Cisco’s Unified Computing System servers over the recent past, Corbin said. “The video platform is the next step,” he said.

The company’s training plans include basic introductions and certification to help partners get up to speed, and for partners who “want to touch, smell and feel this stuff,” the distributor will offer access to TelePresence gear at its LEAP Centers in Colorado and Belgium.

With the legacy Tandberg product family on board, Corbin notes that the company has virtually Cisco’s entire lineup, although details of what products are available vary from geography to geography.

“We’ve got our hands full,” he quipped. “That allows us to give partners as many opportunities as possible to sell Cisco solutions and make good money doing so.”

The announcement caps a relationship that’s borne fruit for both parties – the company was named Global Distribution Partner of the Year at Cisco Partner Summit 2011 earlier this month, and globally, Westcon Group took home some 15 total awards at the conference in New Orleans.