By Andrew Kitson
Online Distribution to switch to Westcon Middle East brand
The Online Distribution brand has been scrapped in favour of a new moniker designed to reflect its affiliation with networking distributor Westcon Group.
Online has officially confirmed that it will now be known as Westcon Middle East in a move designed to reinforce the Westcon name in emerging markets. The rebranding had been widely expected following the introduction of Cisco-focused sister operation Comstor to the region last year.
Parent company Datatec has also been referring to Online by its new identity in recent financial reports.
Westcon says the title change only affects the way that the former Online business will be marketed. All legal and ownership structures, as well as terms and conditions embodied in existing client contracts, remain the same.
“On the face of things this is a simple brand change but in reality it brings the true power and presence of Westcon Group to the market,” explained Steve Lockie, managing director at Westcon Middle East Group. “We brought the first phase of these to the region in our sister company Comstor just over a year ago and already resellers will be seeing our new brand and marketing tools rolling out.”
Lockie insists that despite engineering a new corporate face, reseller customers can expect the same commitment to providing leading products and programmes. “We assure our present and future partners of the same levels of quality and service that have made us a leader in networking and communications, security, infrastructure and mobility distribution,” he said.
Westcon Middle East belongs to Datatec’s Emerging Markets Group, which was created two months ago and incorporates its operations in Africa and India.
The most recent financial report from Datatec reveals that the former Online business increased revenues 27% to US$33.8m for the six months to the end of August 2008. EBITDA increased 6% to US$1.5m.
Comstor Middle East, meanwhile, generated sales of US$12m during the same interim period, turning the previous year’s half-year loss into a US$700,000 profit.