As a part of our ongoing series on EDGE360, the editorial team is tapping into our regular contributors to get their take on the technology milestones that have occurred in the channel and looking at how IT resellers can boost their business in the new year.
We recently had the opportunity to sit down with Reid Scrimgeour, our go-to source for all things Cisco Enterprise Networks and Mobility. Reid is a business development manager for Comstor and works with VARS to identify tools and programs to help them grow their Cisco business. We asked him for his reflections on 2018, and here is what he had to say:
EDGE360 Editors: What were the biggest milestones that you saw in 2018 for mobility and network infrastructure?
Scrimgeour: The Catalyst 9000 series is making a big impact with its Intent-Based Networking, which integrates artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) tools into the network. This creates an environment in which the network learns, adopts, and gets more secure and efficient over time.
This has been the start to the wave that we see continuing to rise in the future. The network provides automation and end-to-end security while staying on and running seamlessly. Additionally, the Catalyst 9200 series has just been rolled out, and we see a lot of excitement around that.
EDGE360 Editors: In the past year, how has Comstor helped VARs take advantage of the opportunities for selling Cisco products focused on mobility and network infrastructure?
Scrimgeour: This past year, Westcon-Comstor has undergone several changes, with the most significant being the acquisition of the company by SYNNEX. With these changes, we’ve created new opportunities to grow. Not only have we had the opportunity to grow our Cisco business with our base customers and new partners, but we also have expanded through new and dedicated SYNNEX partners. Now, the partners who have joined my Progression Program, SURGE, are able to take advantage of expanded offerings, and we have enabled our partners to grow their Cisco business and stay profitable. It is good news for everyone.
EDGE360 Editors: Speaking of Progression Programs, have there been notable successes with SURGE?
Scrimgeour: There have been many successes with SURGE, which is designed to start with the basics by helping small and emerging VARs define what they want to do and the steps they need to take to achieve their goal. That is the what we call the Ripple Stage. Then, if they choose to expand their networking practice, we can help them through training and certification as they move through the remaining levels: Swell, Peak, and Surging. This year, we’ve helped several VARs take advantage of free training and certification for Cisco Networking Express. We’ve also helped them achieve certification as a Cisco Select Partner. This instantly gives SURGE partners the ability to register deals and get rebates back from Cisco. We have also given these partners access to our Comstor-only portal that bundles enterprise networking’s sub-architectures. When you combine switching, routing, and/or wireless the discounting gets greater and greater.
EDGE360 Editors: Based on your reflections of the year, how would you define 2018?
Scrimgeour: 2018 has been a year of change, for our own company and also in how rapidly technology is changing. Networking today is being redefined with AI/ML. Comstor is at the forefront of this change with Cisco to ensure our partners are a part of this dynamic shift and are aligned with Cisco’s new offerings, such as the Catalyst 9000 Suite.
In early 2019, we will hear from Scrimgeour about his predictions for the New Year and get his insight on how Comstor will continue to support VAR growth. Stay tuned for his next piece in this series.