By Andrew Seymour
Cisco has effectively opened the door to Westcon Group carrying its networking products in Saudi Arabia
Cisco has effectively opened the door to Westcon Group carrying its networking products in Saudi Arabia after initiating an exclusive “multi-year” global distribution contract with the company.The agreement is designed to facilitate cross-border transactions between the pair and increase their access to emerging markets around the world.
Both companies will now have a single contractual vehicle from which to manage global, regional and local business activities with common terms and conditions. Previously, business was transacted through independent regional contracts.
Westcon has been selling Cisco in the Middle East through its dedicated Comstor division since answering the vendor’s call for a local presence in early 2007.
Last year it did close to US$30m worth of Cisco business in the region, but its contract only includes the UAE and smaller Gulf markets, not Saudi Arabia. The Saudi market is currently covered by two distributors, Logicom and Al-Jammaz.
Steve Lockie, managing director of Westcon Middle East Group, played down the suggestion that the global tie-up would automatically signal its entrance into the Saudi Cisco market, but indicated that the topic was up for discussion.
“This agreement means that both Cisco and Comstor are committed to supporting each other in establishing operations in theatres where we believe there are mutual benefits from such set-ups,” commented Lockie. “Clearly we have to plan, prioritise and execute in line with each other’s strategic plans and, as such, of course Saudi is a key market for both of us that we continue to review in line with our overall WestconME Group strategy.”
Westcon Group — a subsidiary of South Africa-based Datatec — draws more than 50% of its US$2.9 billion turnover from Cisco-oriented sales.
In a letter sent to partners, new CEO Dean Douglas said resellers could expect the global agreement to bring greater efficiency and shorter “time to revenue”.
“More importantly it allows us to effectively shield you from the complexity and liabilities of the international supply chain,” he stated. “As we proceed, you will see Westcon continue to invest in providing a very robust global deployment and logistics capability.”