As the calendar year is quickly coming to an end, the EDGE360 team is continuing our outreach to IT channel leaders about trends and transitions that have taken place in 2019. During the year, there have been many changes that have affected the go-to-market strategy in the IT channel — from customer experience (CX) to collaboration. In this podcast, Jay Denton, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Comstor North America, shares his reflections on 2019 and how Comstor’s alignment with Cisco has not only helped Comstor grow its business, but also has helped the company grow its resellers’ revenue.
As Denton shared, 2019 was a year of successful transition for Comstor, as it is now past the “heavy lifting” that was necessary for combining teams and systems after the SYNNEX acquisition. Now the company is poised for growth.
“The SYNNEX acquisition illuminated a great deal of opportunity for growth and we have discovered quite a bit of opportunity for Comstor to grow because our go-to-market motion resonates well with SYNNEX customers who are buying Cisco products and now have an appetite to buy them from us,” Denton said.
The Comstor EDGE go-to-market strategy continues to be a way for the company to establish a lifecycle of engagement with its resellers and provide enablement for growth. Denton says the EDGE platform continues to resonate with VARS, even more so now that Cisco is pivoting quickly in areas like CX.
“Fortunately, we are aligned with the Cisco customer experience vision – even well before Cisco began to articulate a shift with the customer buying journey, from education to engagement and ultimately renewal,” Denton explained. “As CX has evolved from concept to lifecycle and certification, we were able to pivot to that quickly and keep our customers at the forefront of those changes.”
As a value-added distributor, Comstor’s job is look after and grow business with VARs who aren’t part of a direct-buying relationship. According to Denton, the company has seen increase in that area in 2019.
“In Cisco FY 2019, we saw the launch of a new Catalyst switching series from Cisco that was unique in that it wasn’t just a new piece of hardware with functionality – it was the first to come to market with a requirement of being bundled with a service contract and a subscription for the features and functionality,” Denton told us. “That was a big shift for Cisco, who went to market with this new approach and had to manage a new way of purchasing and activating. We were instrumental in helping them with the heavy lift.”
Denton pointed out that Comstor sold the first Catalyst 9K switch in Distribution with that bundle and continues to see shared success in this area. Other areas that Cisco is concentrating on include its collaboration portfolio, where they are focusing effort and energy on “all things collaboration.”
“On the technology front, there is something to be said in every category about remaining aligned with Cisco to help implement their go-to-market vision in the space,” Denton explained. “Our practice-consulting approach of helping our resellers make sure they get the most out of the rebates from the vendor endears us with our customers and creates a stickiness.” Listen to Denton’s full 2019 reflections in this podcast:
Want to hear Denton’s predictions for 2020? Stay tuned to EDGE360 for the second podcast in this series in early January.