Thursday, 26 November 2015

Edinburgh Speakers Revealed for Nebula Program



So, some of you may be aware that as part of our new Nebula Program (that’s our big campaign covering all things cloud), we’ve recently announced some Cloud Partner Days that will be at cities all over the UK. Five dates, five brilliant venues, five fantastic cities. This must be what it feels like to be a rock star… Almost.

Friday, 6 November 2015

Exploring CSP

By Phil Lamplugh 




There’s an unavoidable acronym that can be heard up and down the Westcoast office every day. CSP is making huge noise in the channel right now, and it doesn’t look like it’s going to be dying down.
I’ve heard ‘CSP’ said so much, that the actual meaning of the letters has been lost in the buzz of what’s usually associated with the phrase: monthly billing; wrap-around services; 24/7 support. So let’s take a step back. As a relative newcomer to the channel, I decided to investigate the perceived wonder that is CSP.

Thursday, 8 October 2015

Interview with a Specialist – Microsoft Azure

By Phil Lamplugh 

I recently had a chance to catch-up with Martin Smith; Westcoast’s Business Development Manager for Microsoft Azure. Although we work in the same office, Martin is a very busy guy. Azure is going through a big growth period right now, which means between demo visits, exhibitions, webinars, and dealing with orders, he doesn’t get a lot of time to chat. I grabbed him after a webinar for a quick talk about what he does.

Martin Smith - Westcoast BDM for Microsoft Azure

Monday, 21 September 2015

Parallels Desktop 11 for Mac: One month on...


In August, we took a look at the launch of Parallels Desktop 11 for Mac and some of the key benefits of using the software. Now, one month on, we take a deeper delve into the software and asked our resident Windows on Mac user Phil Leblond for his thoughts....



Thursday, 3 September 2015

Attention Educators – It's time to graduate to a professional document-management system with Fujitsu


There is never more of a need for technological innovation than within the classroom. After all, our entire lives are digitized and as the children of the digital age grow and develop, technology is forever entwined with their learning throughout their education.

But how about something to actually enhance the learning experience for the teachers as well....?

Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Windows 10: 1 Month On

                        Windows 10 is now on 75 million devices. Is yours one of them?


So, Windows 10 has launched, and chances are that you’ll either have the upgrade by now, or you’re waiting for ‘Service Pack 1’, and for any bugs or compatibility issues to be ironed out. The thing is, of course, that there isn’t going to be a Service Pack 1, and that there’s been very little noise about issues at all. That’s not to say that there aren’t any, but it seems like it’s safe to say that the launch has been a smooth success.

Now that we’ve had a month to play around with the full release, this is a fantastic time to evaluate what the OS is actually like: Does Windows 10 change the way we use our devices? Is Edge really that good? Why do I need multiple desktops?

Well, let’s find out.....

Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Parallels Desktop 11 Makes Cortana the first Windows Feature available to Mac Users in OS X




Almost everyone who uses a Mac for work should have heard of Parallels Desktop for Mac; the great piece of software that essentially allows you to use Windows on your Mac without the need to reboot. With the launch of Windows 10 as well as the upcoming release of OS X 10.11 El Capitan, Parallels Desktop 11 for Mac is looking primed to take the software to new levels.....


Tuesday, 28 July 2015

In the afterlife of Windows 2003 ...

How Westcoast's Professional Services can Fast Track your customer's Windows 2003 Server Migration

As you all probably know, on the 14th of July Microsoft ended support for its 12-year-old operating system, Windows Server 2003. In our previous blog post, we outlined a whole host of risks associated with staying put (read it again here) so it should come as no surprise to you that migration is no longer an option, but a necessity.

At the beginning of Q1 2015, more than 60% of businesses were still running Windows Server 2003, and with the level of migration not picking up pace this remains a major concern and a major opportunity for IT service providers....


Thursday, 23 July 2015

WPC 2015 Recap


So, another Microsoft World Partner Conference (WPC) comes to a close. As usual it was a big mix of keynotes, breakout sessions, partner meetings and evening party/networking. This was a quiet year for big announcements, but Windows 10 and their CSP programme definitely took centre stage for Microsoft’s focus. The most value for me is very much the evening networking where you get to speak to peers in the industry and listen to their challenges and successes within their own businesses. When you say the word ‘party’ people instantly think of too much drink and revelry but typically these are all very well behaved and actually a lot gets done then, or maybe that was just us!...

Wednesday, 22 July 2015

How Safe is Your Business Critical Server?


So Windows Server 2003 End of Support has come and gone, and perhaps you’re wondering why you haven’t heard a media storm around a company that’s been hit hard due to not upgrading.
I think we all knew that lack of an upgrade plan wouldn’t cause huge disruptions straight away, but that’s not to say that those who have hung onto Windows Server 2003 are in the clear. In fact, the reality is quite the opposite. The last round of patches from Microsoft didn’t include Windows Server 2003 – so the situation for anyone holding on to this platform is much darker than they perhaps realise.



Server migration isn’t done in a week. In fact, it can take five months to fully complete a server and workload migration project, and even that’s optimistic depending on the size of your business. Organisations that haven’t yet started the upgrade process aren’t running late; they’re far past that point. The longer that businesses go without upgrading, the greater the security risk. On top of that, they’re taking the chance that Visa and MasterCard won’t do business with them due to Windows Server 2003 no longer being PCI compliant, which is bad news for anyone accepting card payments online.

Obviously, we’re talking bad-case scenarios here, but operating with an out of date infrastructure means that organisations are under threat. Every day on Windows Server 2003 is another day that issues can strike.

It’s not unusual for cyber attacks to target unsupported software, and really it makes perfect sense. If a global organisation is running outdated software, virus authors will naturally target it for a chance of fame. The grim reality is that by refusing to upgrade, an organisation is putting more than some data at risk; they’re actively threatening their own future. History is littered with organisations who have lost customer data – and as a result lost their customers too. It’s harsh reading, but it’s definitely worth thinking about.

To move onto happier things, End of Support has done a lot of good for businesses when customers have upgraded. The necessity of having to do something has allowed businesses to have a complete rethink of how they deal with their data, leading to some interesting choices. The most interesting is perhaps the rise of businesses using Cloud solutions. Gone are the times when migration meant a choice of which physical servers to keep in your basement. With the rise of Microsoft Azure and Office 365, organisations have been willing to not only try the cloud, but also consider both options as a valid choice when migrating from Windows Server 2003.

The main messaging to take from Windows Server 2003 EOS is that it’s never truly too late to upgrade. Mark Buckley, Senior Partner Sales Executive for Distribution at Microsoft, had this to say on the subject: ‘Support has now ended for Windows Server 2003, but it’s not too late to migrate. If your server goes down, how long is it until your business starts to lose money? Don’t wait for something to go wrong, and don’t learn the hard way.’

One thing is clear:  if businesses haven’t upgraded yet, it’s not too late. But the longer it’s left, the greater the risk is.

Watch our Windows Server 2003 EOS Video 

If you want to find out more about migration opportunities, contact your account manager or email: sales@westcoast.co.uk 
















Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Microsoft WPC - We’ve Made It!


So after all the hype and build up, we are finally here in Orlando and what a first couple of days it's been! For all the ladies out there (and some men), I hope you brought your hair straighteners because the humidity is causing havoc with the frizz!

Sunday started with a great session with Peter Davidson and the CSP tier-2 partners. We had some great discussions around the strategy for FY16 and all the great things we will soon be offering through CSP. Make sure you come and talk to us in the UK lounge so we can tell you more about what's to come.

It was great to meet lots of the UK partners at the welcome drinks on Sunday evening. I hope you all had fun and that you're putting your Westcoast WPC Survival Kits to good use after such a fun night!

I'm really looking forward to listening to some more inspiring keynotes and speeches as the week progresses. Despite us Brits showing considerably less emotion than our American cousins, I personally find it really hard to not get caught up with all the enthusiasm which you will see and feel when you come to talk to us about CSP, and how partnering with Westcoast will help you grow your cloud services business.

If you see us, don't forget to get a selfie with us for the chance to win a Surface Pro 3 by tweeting your pic and capturing the essence of WPC 2015 to @MSPartnersUK using #WPCUK.

Join us on our Westcoast @ WPC LinkedIn Group for the latest information and a chance to win £250 of vouchers. I look forward to seeing you throughout the week and at the big party tonight!




By Nicola Boswell – Cloud Product Manager at Westcoast Limited 

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Case Study: HP StoreEver MSL6480 Tape Library safeguards business critical content

Tape may be one of the most 'old school' storage technologies, but that doesn't mean it can't play nice with the newest kids on the block.  But don't take my word for it.  This week, HP published a new tape testimonial from a very interesting and exciting source.  Because when it comes to video production and multimedia, it doesn't get much more cutting-edge than the advanced 4K digital film making projects created by Brain Farm Digital Cinema.

You might think that when it came to completing their digital workflow, the last solution a state-of-the-art video company would turn to is tape, specifically the HP StoreEver MSL6480 tape library. 




But as Brain Farm's post production supervisor, Danny Holland, says:

"Estimates indicate that our storage cost per terabyte is 86 percent lower with the HP StoreEver MSL6480 solution compared to an equivalent SAN disk array. The lower total cost of ownership of the MSL6480 tape library delivers affordable storage technology, providing us with a competitive edge in the digital media market."

So HP StoreEver tape is not just a means of storing data.  It is a key enabler that makes Brain Farm a more successful company.  In this blog, I want to take a closer look at why this is the case.

Brain Farm Digital Cinema is at the forefront of video production and its recent National Geographic "Great Migrations" documentary series won the company a prestigious Emmy award for cinematography.  The team has a reputation for creating breathtaking images in locations where few dare to go, especially in the fields of action sports and aerial photography.

Brain Farm often shoots several films simultaneously at 4K resolution with multiple cameras, each creating an uncompressed storage requirement of about 200 GB per minute. Moreover, a single project frequently involves a 100-day filming season, generating many petabytes of content.

The challenges faced by Brain Farm can be summarised:
  • storing massive output volumes.
  • inefficient labor-intensive stand-alone tape drive backup and archiving processes.
  • an inappropriate disaster recovery capability to safeguard clients’ valuable assets.
  • insufficient scalability to support growth.

 HP'sMSL6480 tape library meets these challenges directly:
  • Each unit offers up to 560 slots, storing up to 3.5 PB in a single rack, with 81 TB density per 1U of rack space
  • It can easily be expanded with extra drives, slots and cartridges, including future generations of LTO Ultrium for even higher capacities.
  • The automated process is 10X faster than the old workflow and 86% cheaper than using a SAN disk array for this purpose.
  • HP StoreOpen for Automation, HP’s LTFS solution for MSL6480, makes sharing and accessing data simple.
  • HP TapeAssure Advanced software makes the MSL6480 easy to manage from any location.

In the words of Danny Holland:
"The nature of the digital cinema business makes scalability extremely important. The HP StoreEver MSL6480 Tape Library design allows us to easily add extra drives, media slots and expansion modules as required, delivering a non-disruptive scalability model that’ll generate significant savings over the years.”

So next time anyone scoffs that tape is dead or for companies that haven't yet embraced innovation in storage, invite them to learn about Brain Farm Digital Cinema.  I think it's a great endorsement that such a successful and pioneering company sees a clear role for tape in its digital workflow.  Such companies do not use technology out of sentiment.  It's because they feel the core benefits of tape are the best solution for their cutting-edge needs!

Andrew Dodd
Worldwide Marketing Communications Manager
HP Storage Media





Friday, 3 July 2015

Businesses may be at risk from not migrating away from Windows Server 2003, says HP's Angela Cross

A significant percentage of businesses are putting their futures at risk and not migrating away from Windows Server 2003 as they think Microsoft aren’t serious about ending support on the 14th July, says HP’s UK manager for servers. 

Angela Cross, HP’s server country manager for UK & Ireland, believes that an estimated 1 in 3 organisations have not migrated to Window Server 2012, despite the dangers surrounding security and compliance of retaining the soon-to-be obsolete operating system. "Customers are waiting for Microsoft to announce on the 14th July that support will be extended for another 12 months, but they have been very clear on this for the last six months that this will not happen. HP is concerned that customers are leaving themselves badly exposed."

The reason behind this reluctance to upgrade, suspects Cross, is a combination of Microsoft’s track record in extending the life of PC operating systems and the cost to businesses of migrating away from XP last year, which has stretched budgets. "I think there is probably in excess of at least 30 per cent of the market (in the UK), if not considerably higher, that have done nothing.” said Cross.

Westcoast continues to offer services for HP partners looking to help end users migrate from Windows Server 2003, including a webinar covering best practices on the 21st July and an incentive for purchasers of new Gen9 servers or Windows Server 2012 to win tickets to the forthcoming Rugby World Cup

Highlighting Westcoast’s work in helping resellers to provide migration via the Windows EOS program and Upgrade And Win campaign, Cross added, “I don't think it's for any lack of communication. Some end users have decided not to migrate.”

Microsoft has made several warnings that continued use of Windows Server 2003 will bring risks to the security and compliance of business systems, yet as of January this year it was estimated that over 400,000 servers were still waiting to be updated.  "There are potentially customers that are very exposed to huge vulnerabilities," Angela said. "I think businesses take the view that such servers are probably only doing file and print tasks, they’re not frontline so it’s not critical – but it's still an access route into their network and therefore their business, so they are a weak point in their systems."

It is this sheer number of servers yet to be updated, with end users feeling they lack time or resources to undertake critical migrations, that Cross believes presents an opportunity to the channel. “A customer might have perhaps 20 or 30 servers but understanding the vulnerabilities they may contain is difficult if they don't have a sophisticated IT capability. And that scales all the way up to organisations running tens of thousands of servers. Where do you start?"

"Windows 2003, from an HP perspective, is probably running on at least generation 5 or older, so if you had 10 Gen5 servers, you probably need just one Gen9 server to deliver the same performance today. It isn't a hardware-heavy refresh; it's a consulting and transformation project, which is where partners can work with Westcoast to provide professional migration services to their customers and help them move away from retaining a server operating system that will soon become a risk to their operations”


Wednesday, 1 July 2015

How HP’s Changes To Smart Quote Will Benefit You...


HP partners selling Enterprise Group solutions – servers, storage and networking - have been able to get access to special pricing through an online tool called Smart Quote. Soon there will be an important change being made to the system – will it affect you?

Currently, resellers can request a number of distributors to respond with pricing details, which the reseller would then look through and decide which to select.  From 1st July this will be changing; resellers making future pricing requests in Smart Quote will have to state their preferred distributor, meaning they will receive pricing information from one distributor instead of several.

So, if you’re a HP Partner, how will this benefit you?

The idea of having several distributors providing you with pricing may sound like good business  - keen pricing and fast response - but it can in fact be quite the opposite. Multiple companies competing for the same business can tend to focus on the larger opportunities, meaning lesser deals you place in Smart Quote don’t get such a quick response. Additionally, with so many responses and people following up with additional questions, you can easily be delayed in getting pricing over to their customer, which goes against the whole point of trying to provide a fast service to your customers in the first place. 

Let’s compare this with you stating Westcoast as your preferred distributor within the new version of Smart Quote.

By streamlining Smart Quote to stating Westcoast as your preferred distributor partner, you will be receiving a much simpler service.  Instead of getting multiple quotes and loads of incoming calls and emails asking for more details, you will get a single quote - making responding to requests faster and helping to ensure the pricing that you get is even better value
.
While we’re on the subject of speed, Westcoast is renowned for delivering pricing fast. There’s a good reason why we turn round pricing requests so swiftly; your customers often need pricing quickly, so the quicker we give a reply, the faster you can deliver a great value quote to your customer.

This simpler service for you also includes other areas such as;

Pre-sales; our industry-leading pre-sales teams can provide technical advice to help you give an expert service to your customers, guiding them on the best solution for their business – and thus winning more clients.

50-plus EG certified Account Managers and a dedicated BDM who will visit and work with you to help develop your business plan to grow your HP revenues.

Access to Solutions Lab and operational demonstration and education centre complete with HP EG demonstration  that’s yours to use – completely free of charge. 

Free marketing material - We even help you promote HP EG solutions with a range of rebrandable materials through GYM+.

So as you can see, by ensuring you state Westcoast as your preferred distributor when using Smart Quote, you’ll be building a loyal customer base who look to you as their IT expert, trusting your advice and loving your service. 

To find out more about the changes in Smart Quote and how Westcoast can help you Click Here 



Tuesday, 30 June 2015

How to gain the most from the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference

Platinum sponsorship – Check.  
All access pass – Check.  
Hotel – Check.  
Flights – Check.  

That is the easy part. Now is the time for planning for WPC to make the most out of your investment.

WPC is a great week of the year for any Microsoft partner looking to discover the Microsoft strategy for the next year from their worldwide leaders, build relationships with key Microsoft employees and partners from around the world and to get sight of future technologies.   

The key for us is to make sure you keep your agenda packed, the busier your agenda the less time for tiredness! 





Here are our top tips to help you gain the most from WPC:

1. Use WPC Connect as this is the best way of scheduling meetings with Microsoft employees and partners. 

2. Make sure you go to all the evening events laid on by the Microsoft team, most networking happens at these events so make sure that you have enough business cards. 

3. Spend time in the UK lounge, this is where a lot of the best networking happens along with many valuable ad-hoc introductions and meetings.

4. Do your research - What is CSP? What is Cloud? This will enable you to ensure you gain the most out of your experience. Make sure that you visit us in the UK lounge to find out what our offering is and how we can help you demystify CSP.

5. Enjoy yourself – The WPC is a huge event and will be a full on rewarding experience. You may find yourself asking these questions; Why am I so tired? Have I not slept? It’s inevitable. So make sure you enjoy yourself whilst you’re there and you can catch up on sleep when you’re back!

I think we know that Cloud and Microsoft services available on monthly billing, through the CSP program are going to be the hot topics for the week, and here at Westcoast we are perfectly aligned to the Microsoft strategy to be able to support partners with the transition to cloud and to CSP. 

Not forgetting Windows 10 – one platform across all devices, Microsoft Edge browser, Continuum, A PROPER START BUTTON! Have you ordered your free upgrade?

Be sure to follow us for the latest news and exclusive competitions on WPC and Westcoast Cloud..  

Linkedin - Westcoast @ WPC
Online - www.westcoast.co.uk/csp

See you in Orlando!


 Ben Feurtado – Microsoft Business Manager at Westcoast Limited

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Reinventing the way students learn with HP in Education


Technology is everywhere and affects nearly every part of our lives from shopping, to socialising and, most importantly, learning. With their great and increasing presence entwined in our lives, innovative IT solutions in the classroom are a valuable learning tool for students everywhere and it's never been a more important time to make technology more accessible to young people in the Education sector.

Westcoast's
HP in Education portal highlights the key HP products best suited to education to make it easy for our partners to make an informed decision on the solutions available as conveniently as possible.

HP are reinventing the way students learn and teachers teach by offering very specific solutions depending on the needs at each stage of the education journey from primary education right the way through to university level.

Over the next few weeks, we will be running a 'HP in Education' Blog series and taking a deep dive into the benefits, solutions and products designed specifically around the bespoke needs throughout education from primary to university, special needs to emerging markets.



So keep your eyes peeled and in the meantime here's a few examples of how HP are innovating their solutions designed especially for each stage of education ...

-        In early primary, HP has designed smaller, ruggedized tablets for those tiny hands and moments when faced with an unannounced drop test!

-        For middle school, HP's larger convertibles allow students to work together by collaborating and communicating ideas easily using technology

-        As the curriculum shifts from content consumption to content creation, the shift from tablets to HP workstations allows students to develop their writing skills

-        College & University life demands both on and off-site availability of devices so HP's consistent user experience regardless of device is essential

-        HP also has exclusive value added feature(s) addressing assistive technology for students with disabilities including voice recognition for those challenged by keyboards, Text to speech/ speech to text functionality, and much more within a controlled environment so students can only see apps that are relevant for them (not distracted by others)

Over the last two years, Medhurst IT has been using HP’s Mobility Technology within primary schools, universities and colleges. They have found that this has had a huge impact in growing as a business to reach new target audiences so HP now resonates as a crucial component within the organisation. Tom Drew, Education Sales Specialist at Medhurst, has also been using the Westcoast's SMARTbid tool to get the best pricing on HP devices.

Tom says “HP and SMARTbid allow us to be competitive in the education sector. We always backed ourselves to be successful once taken on by a school or college, but HP kit provides that ‘foot in the door’ that we always lacked when it came to the initial pitch.”

Education customers should also take advantage of HP Subscription: One price, one payment, one place to buy your entire IT solution! If your customers are looking for a better way to manage their schools' PCs then the best solution is a subscription to use bundled hardware and services for a monthly payment.
Learn more about HP Subscription here


Interested in learning more about HP Innovation for Schools and how we can help?

<< Visit the Westcoast HP in Education portal today >>


Monday, 1 June 2015

Storage Media: Why tape storage is here to stay!


You may not consider tape to be an innovative technology, but perhaps it's time to think again. During the last decade, tape storage has witnessed massive improvement in terms of capacity and performance and benefited from continuous innovation in critical areas relating to cost, reliability and ease of use. Today, this evergreen technology can effectively address new data protection opportunities in addition to its traditional role as a backup device.

And, although it’s important to note that disk storage has made advances during the same period, tape’s progress has been more than equal to it.

First, let's set the scene with some important facts about the tape media business (source: Santa Clara Global Quarterly Backup Tracker Q4 CY14, February 2015):

1. Customers are using more tape storage than at any point in history – In Q4, the market shipped 6,638 petabytes of capacity on new low & midrange tape formats (LTO, DAT, DLT, AIT) – a record total!

2. LTO Ultrium is the most popular technology – accounting for 97% of those shipments in a market worth $117.6M. Hewlett-Packard is the leading brand in this category and has been since mid-2002. In particular, LTO-5 (3 TB per unit with 2:1 compression) and LTO-6 (6.25 TB per unit with 2.5:1 compression) account for 82% of total capacity shipped.

3. The cost of tape storage media is the lowest it has ever been - When LTO-1 was launched in 2001, it offered a compressed cost per GB of about $0.60. Today, LTO-6 offers a native cost per GB of less than $0.01, as recently announced by the LTO Consortium. To purchase 2.5 TB of HP tape media capacity in 2000 would have cost $3,125. Today it costs about $50!

So why does tape look set to remain so popular in 2015, for data protection in general, and archive in particular?

The answer lies in the on-going business value of the technology. It's not just about performance, capacity and usability, but also how technology can lower costs, reduce risks, and improve productivity within an organisation. From that point of view, tape continues to impress.

Low Cost of Ownership - Tape continues to offer one of the lowest costs per terabyte for any type of storage, especially when you consider energy consumption and carbon footprint, which both should be factored in for a true like-for-like comparison. When comparing the TCO of an LTO tape library and a disk array over a 9 year period, disk storage is 26 times the average TCO of tape. The cost of energy alone for the average disk-based solution exceeds the entire TCO for the typical tape-based solution!

Risk Reduction – A primary purpose of any backup or archive program is data retrieval and restoration. The LTO tape drives, libraries and media have great reliability and availability features such as hardware redundancy, path failover, proactive health monitoring software and data archive verification software. These help to ensure that data is always available and recoverable. Plus, tape cartridges can be easily and securely transported off-site so they are safe from security threats and cyber attacks that could occur without warning.

Productivity Improvements – As data growth increases uncontrollably, it's never been a more important time for businesses to effectively manage their backup and archiving infrastructure. Luckily, tape can be scaled almost effortlessly – it's just a case of adding more tape cartridges and tape expansion modules – and with very little additional cost. Meanwhile, innovative technologies like Linear Tape File System (LTFS), Tape As NAS (tNAS) and Flash And Tape (FLAPE) make tape even simpler to access, use and share.

So, in conclusion, tape is very much alive and should not be discounted as no longer being a key strategic storage technology!

Significant innovations have been made in terms of performance, higher capacity, power efficiency, improved reliability, ease of use and budget-friendliness. If you haven’t considered tape storage recently, you may want to take the time to do so (or have a second, or third, look!)

But tape today still has an amazing amount to offer.
For more information on tape today and in the future, contact your Westcoast Account Manager or why not take a look at our range of Storage Media that you can buy directly from our website? Click here

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Size is just the beginning for this little space saving superhero!


Introducing the most flexible, powerful, compact desktop solution available for the space-constrained – The Lenovo ThinkCentre Tiny.

This great little compact performer can fit any workspace (as the name suggests) but don't let it's small size fool you – Tiny has a whole lot more to offer and is so much more than small...






Take a look at the Tiny's Top 7 'super powers':

1. Blazing Performance & Unrivaled Power - Delivers faster performance, up to 10× faster transfer rates and 50% or greater charging power with better signal reception for a hyper-speed wireless experience.

2. Invisibility & Ninja Silence - Hides almost anywhere. Plus, it's nearly silent while operating and with its ICE 3.0 cooling system, produces less heat, as well so you wouldn't even know it's there!

3. Adaptability - Fits virtually anywhere. Install Tiny behind flat-screen monitors or choose from an under-the-desk mount, vertical stand, or secure it inside the Tiny-in-One 23.

4. Expandability - Additional ports available so you can easily expand your desktop performance without compromising on versatility. You can even power it on from the keyboard, an industry first!

5. Security - The most comprehensive hardware-based management and security capabilities, to give IT managers the confidence to secure their networks. With security this tight, take Tiny anywhere with the Kensington® Microsaver® Cable lock.

6. Energy Efficient - Tiny offers huge possibilities for users and the planet by using 50% less energy than regular-sized desktops and 12% less energy than its previous generation without sacrificing performance.

7. Friendly, Entertaining and an all round good guy! - works well with multiple users and multiple monitors and is built to tackle heavy multimedia with ease to benefit from a much better user experience.

It's easy to deploy and easy to service, and can be accessed by just one screw for quicker serviceability and a more efficient use of IT resources.

So are you ready to discover all that Tiny is besides just small?  Now available at Westcoast!

You can find out more about the Tiny here! Or if you are Reseller looking to purchase click here 

Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Linking the questions you ask your Apple customers


In our last Apple post we gave you some suggestions as to what questions you can ask your customers to unlock further conversations, creating potential for a larger sales. This week we want to explore customer profiling a little more and give you something you can try out straight away with your customers.

Profiling your customers might be an approach that is completely alien to you or it maybe something at which you have become somewhat of an expert. Either way, our vision at Westcoast is to bring our customers together to collaborate on what those techniques may look like. Try new methods out. Share successes and challenges. But most of all, join us in becoming the experts in selling Apple Solutions.




We want to give you something you can try
out straight away with your customers.
We recommend remembering the process we call
C.H.A.I.N.
 
This is the process by which you determine your customers current situation, background, aims, pains and business needs. The result gives you a crystal clear understanding of who it is you are talking to.
You must ask the relevant questions in order to understand who you are talking to, what role does that person play and what is the environment for the company.

The idea behind using CHAIN is that by linking the the questions you ask your customer, you will start to…
 
build a solid foundation to understanding what
the full solution for that customer may be.
 
Here is the CHAIN model:
 
CURRENT SITUATION – what is their technical situation as it currently stands?

HISTORY – what is their company background?

AIMS – what is the purpose of the purchase? ISSUES – what problem is this purchase trying to fix?

NEEDS OF THE BUSINESS – what overall business need is this in response to?

A full Apple solutions goes beyond the the Apple Products themselves.We want to share with you what we do to uncover the solution. By doing this the customer benefits and you benefit by selling more products and services.

Next time we will to share with you some examples of solutions that could come from a sales conversation structured around CHAIN.

Until then we would love to know how you get on with trying this out.


 

Friday, 24 April 2015

Top 5 Takeaways from Westcoast's April Gen9 Technical Training Session


We are reaching the dawn of a new era of IT, and the most exciting shifts of our time in the tech world are underway.

With IT becoming more and more critical to business success, traditional infrastructure approaches are no longer good enough in ensuring the efficiency expected in today's ever changing business landscape.

So it's time to reimagine the server and step into the light of the Compute era for better business outcomes and, with HP leading the journey for redefining compute economics, our Gen9 Technical Training session this month allowed our partners to learn more about the technical aspects of the next generation of servers.

We are really pleased with how the training went and have had some great feedback from attendees that it was of great value. So, for those that didn't make it, we wanted to share with you the highlights from April's Gen9 Technical training in order to ensure our partners have every success in adopting the new style of IT!

Take a look at our top 5 Takeaways from the Event:

1. Infrastructure matters – and Compute is its Engine

There is increasing pressure on a business' IT to quickly and efficiently deliver more applications and services – not to mentioned to try and store and deliver exponentially increasing amounts of data at the same time – Oh and then trying to do all that while reducing costs!

How would yesterday’s servers ever conquer these challenges with their manual complexity, and expensive, over-sized, siloed, inefficient... (Need we go on?!)

Compute is THE ONLY way to go to overcome the above and beyond to allow maximum operational efficiency, business expansion, and increase the whole customer experience.

2. HP's Gen9 Portfolio has been streamlined for greater efficiency


Every growing business is committed to efficiency! The streamlined nature of the Gen9 portfolio makes it far easier and faster for the customer to position the right server for the right workload - delivering flexible, scalable computing resources that are aligned to their business goals.

3. Introducing the rack and tower Gen9 Family and meet the new additions for April!

HP ProLiant rack and tower servers represent the industry’s trusted portfolio of multi-workload servers built for today and tomorrow.

- 10 series: Simple, easy to deploy, affordable servers, designed for the right-sized first time workload deployment for SMB

- 100 series: Optimized with the right balance of storage, performance, efficiency and manageability to address multiple workloads for growing SMB and Enterprise

- 300 series: THE industry-standard, tailored with flexible choices for compute intensive workloads requiring high system performance, manageability, expansion and security for SMB, Enterprise and HPC businesses

- 500 series: Designed for today’s most demanding scale-up workloads, delivering unparalleled scalability, reliability and availability to confidently unleash the power of your business data for Enterprise and HPC businesses

And HP has just released two new Tower servers aimed at small and medium sized businesses. The HP ProLiant ML10 v2 and ML110 Gen9 servers:

- ML10v2: Ideal first server for small businesses to run general purpose applications

- ML110 Gen9: Performance optimised, expandable and affordable tower server designed to meet SMB compute demands

4. You can now write your own scripts with new API for Gen9

Now, you can reduce server configuration complexity for Gen9 servers and standardise server interactions through a single programmable interface! The HP RESTful Applicable Programmable Interface (API) tool enables you to write your own scripts for configuration, inventory, and monitoring of ProLiant Gen9 servers

5. So many ways to managing Gen9 servers

Server manageability could not be easier now that there are multiple ways to manage the Gen9 servers – all completely dependent on your requirements:

On Cloud - Using Insight Online cloud-based management for service ticket and warranty tracking, plus health & alerting

On Premise - Using HP Oneview for Converged management of servers, storage, and networks with automation simplicity

On System - Using HP iLO Management and Smart Update enabling setup, health and alerting, and firmware maintenance

To advance in the compute era, choose HP ProLiant Gen9 for breakthrough innovation in cost of service, time to service, and value of service for you customers. ….

For more information about the HP Gen9 family and help in positioning these products and solutions to your customers, HP have put together a great sales pack that will walk you through Gen9 transitions, some quick platform reference guides, intel processor comparisons and much more.

< Download the Sales Pack here >

PLUS, as a Westcoast Partner, there are even more reasons to choose HP Gen9 – including exclusive rewards, ongoing support, customisable marketing collateral to send to your customers and much more!

Speak to your account manager today: 0118 912 6000

Friday, 17 April 2015

Profiling your Apple customers

In our previous Apple blog post we talked about what selling an Apple solution meant, and we encouraged you to get involved in the conversation with any specific challenges that you face when selling an Apple solution, we said that before you sell anything to your customer there were a few things that had to happen.

One of those things is how to profile your customer.

This week let’s take a look at why it’s important to profile your customer and what that means to you as well as them.

Profiling your customer has huge advantages…

… but the main one is that if you know your customer profile you can ask your customer the right questions, which will help you provide the right solution.

Before we look at the solution side of things here are a few reasons why we believe it’s important to profile your customers. You will…

– have a stronger relationship with your customers
– have more trust between you and your customer
– find it easier to uncover opportunities
– know more about what your customer wants and needs – increase your reputation

– sell more.





So those are the benefits. Here is an example of some of the questions that you can ask your customers. All of which will lead you to the right solution.

Current technical situation

• What are you currently using?
• Who is currently using it?
• What’s working for you now?

History (Organisational background)

• What industry are you in?
• What is the size of your organisation?
• What is it you do?
• Who is your customer?

Aims

• What are you trying to achieve with this purchase? • What does success look like?
• What is the vision of this technology?

Issues

• What problem is this purchase trying to fix?
• What isn’t working for you at the moment?
• What will get in the way of this being a success?

Needs of the business
• What overarching business need does this address?

Share how it felt and what the results were like with this community…

• Is this purchase intended to reduce waste, reduce cost, increase efficiency, etc..?
• Who is ultimately the decision maker?

Asking more questions is going to give you a whole load of information that you’ve never had before about that customer.
This maybe something that you are already doing, if not then we strongly encourage you to give it a go. If you do be sure to share how it felt and what the results were like with this community.

Asking more questions is going to give you a whole load of information that you’ve never had before about that customer. How to break that down and link it to a solution is something we are going to cover in our next blog.

Until then happy profiling.

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

HP SMARTbid – It's time to reinvent the bidding process and step up the pace!

When it comes to offering solutions serving data centres or hardware for convergence infrastructure, customers want it competitive and they want it immediately. In fact, they want it double quick.

The pressure is most definitely on to satisfy the 'Now! Now! Now!' need of today's end users, so speedy turnaround on your bids is paramount.

So how can Westcoast help you overcome these challenges?

Resellers need a solution that satisfies the growing demand for HP products for end user opportunities and this is where Westcoast's online bid tool, SMARTbid can streamline the whole HP quoting process to help resellers step up the pace of doing business.

In fact, automated pricing requests are returned to SMARTbid users in 1 business hour – giving HP partners the speed they need to deliver the right products to the right customer opportunities.

The tool is designed to allow our HP reseller partners to request HP supported pricing based on specific product part numbers of HP PPS products (Desktops, Laptops, Monitors, Workstations, Printers) and accessories available from Westcoast.

Designed and developed in-house, the tool has completely reinvented the bidding process, enabling resellers to receive near-immediate responses to pricing requests. What’s more – it’s paved the way for increased business opportunities for Westcoast customers.

There are just 3 things you need to qualify for using SMARTbid:
  • You will need an end user opportunity
  • You will need a Westcoast Account
  • Have a minimum of 5 qualified units linked to an end user opportunity

And there are just 3 things you need to enter a bid:
  • You will need the end user customer details
  • You will need the product part number
  • Have a target cost price

Once you have logged in you will have access to all of the bids you have submitted and there is the functionality to filter your bids by status and view any previous bids.

The tool also offers great flexibility around bundles and offers more than 3,500 skus (stock keeping units) and 600 lines of accessories – incorporating HP desktop PCs, laptops and printers.

And because the SMARTbid tool is designed to highlight the top ten selling accessories on a product - it encourages more, high margin product attach opportunities.

SHI, which is headquartered in the US but with a European hub based in the UK started using Westcoast’s SMARTbid tool to help them speed up the bidding process and within just a few days of using SMARTbid to pitch for HP products, they were already reaping the benefits.

“SMARTbid gives us a response time that is, quite frankly, fantastic – that’s the real
capability. Getting to grips with the tool was no problem for our sales team. They found it simple to use, especially with the tool’s intuitive drop-down menus, and easy to understand navigation. it’s given our business a real boost. And the team love it.” Adam Gregory, International Distribution Co-ordinator, SHI

Benefit from rapid response times, flexible bid management and easy to use features which can help resellers compete more effectively at a level of immediacy that can help win HP business and keep customers satisfied.

Start using SMARTbid today and reinvigorate the way you pitch for HP products!


Simply visit: www.westcoast.co.uk/smartbid 













Thursday, 9 April 2015

Finally, the dry-eraseboard has evolved – bring your team collaboration into the 21st century


Whilst the rest of the office is constantly evolving in line with the latest technology that's available for businesses, there's one legacy piece that's tied to the meeting room struggling to keep up – the dry-eraseboard.

With the increase in remote workers and our demand for 'anytime, anywhere' technologies, today's ideation tools simply can't facilitate the new world workplace that is rapidly moving away from the stereotypical 'around the whiteboard' meetings.

The traditional dry erase board is proving even more inefficient when it comes to then transposing those meeting room notes into something tangible that the whole team can benefit from. Many of us try, (and fail!) to grab a fairly decent photo of the scribbled board that's totally glare free and in focus in order to mail to colleagues.

We leave important data to the mercy of PLO and DO NOT ERASE and hope Friday's cleaner hasn't got carried away with the disinfectant spray creating a beautiful watercolour!

That is until now...

SmartKapp is finally reinventing the dry-erase board to improve collaboration and allows you to capture, save and share information from anywhere.

Text and drawings are captured digitally and shared in a simple way to a mobile device, tablet or PC. In essence, it functions just like a traditional dry-erase board with a dry-erase pen and erasure – you simply pick up the dry-erase pen and start writing!

But that is by far the only thing that the traditional dry-eraseboard has in common with SmartKapp - The clever stuff is what happens next...

The SmartKapp Mobile app allows you to capture your collaborative ideas to your phone or tablet. With one click of the board, you can capture content in high-quality image or PDF files at anytime you decide and save via USB or to a mobile device - ensuring dry-erase data is secure.

Inspiration and ideas happen in real-time so why shouldn't your dry-erase board?

Only with Smartkapp, you can share what you are drawing instantly with others via weblink in real-time to the team sitting right in front or your remote teams around the globe. Gone are the days when innovation and ideas are confined to the boardroom and SmartKapp allows remote workers to feel part of the team as they are no longer isolated from the creativity.

And what's more, your work lives on even after the board's erased. You can upload your session to your favourite cloud service and then access anywhere so you can really engage with your ideas and look review how they have grown over time.

No IT resources are required to install SMART kapp – just mount to the wall, plug in the cable, download the smart kapp app to your mobile and start writing!

Whatever your challenge, wherever your team, SmartKapp helps you collaborate better and that means better work, more efficient brain-storming, and faster breakthroughs.

If you would you like to learn more about SmartKapp, why not request a demo here.

Westcoast Trade Customer? Purchase the SmartKapp dry-erase board today. 

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

iCreate 2.0 has Landed! The channel's most advanced HP System Configurator just got better...



Wouldn't it be great to build nearly any HP Workstation and PC without the headache of having to work anything out?

If you haven't discovered it already, the iCreate tool from Westcoast takes that pain away and does the entire configuration work for you. And what's more, it then has the pricing and quotation capabilities too – selling HP has never been easier.

Our solutions-led HP Workstation Configurator takes an intelligence-led selling approach for HP’s Workstation range helping resellers of HP products to select their configured solution.

And if you thought that was too good to be true.... It's just got even better!

We are really excited to announce that the latest version of iCreate now includes the ENTIRE HP PC range, including Desktops, Notebooks, Workstations, Tablets, Thin Clients and RPOS Systems.

Now, the whole HP top value range is at your fingertips for configuration without the need of having to invest in infrastructure – a far more efficient way of being able to maximise margin and HP PC Hardware opportunities.

The iCreate tool is easy to use and, with the latest version improving functionality even more, it makes PC configuration accessible to all, not just Technical Whizzes!

Better still, as a Westcoast Partner, the tool can also be embedded within your e-commerce website for your customers to access the tool, configure and place their order. It can be reskinned to match the look and feel of your own website so there's no need to worry that the user experience won't be consistent. This has proved to be very effective with key reseller partners dramatically increasing Workstation and HP PC revenue.

Your feedback has always been important to us, and with the development of the latest version of the iCreate tool, this hasn't changed. We have listened to our reseller partners and added a feature rich interface with straight forward navigation and new accessory suggestions to make the whole experience seamless.

iCreate fully enables resellers to maximise HP PC Hardware opportunities, giving expert advice through a tool interface, actively enhancing the sales process without resellers even knowing it. The new slot configuration system allows every possible device facet to be built without compromise. Plus, the latest version is as easy for an expert or a novice to configure exactly what their customer requires.

So How can Partners benefit from the new iCreate 2.0?

- User can change their mind on a system unit half way through a configuration with automatic validation checks.
- Users can configure based on hardware platform or software application.
- Partners can easily configure HP PC's and provide the right solutions for their customers
- Start maximising margin and opportunity without having to invest in infrastructure.
- New accessory suggestions
- Get quotes at the most competitive price
- No nasty surprises: build a system knowing it's going to work.
- Save time by exporting to excel with full part number listing
- Save and name configurations for future use
- Great for upgrade advice: check which upgrades work within your system
- Reduce the cost of sale by increasing efficiency, reduces delivery times and cuts down the level of knowledge required by the user
- Provides a clear customer journey
- It's very user friendly even if you aren't a Technical Whiz!

But don't just take our word for it – Here's just some of the great feedback we've already received from our Partners....

“iCreate is such a fantastic and user friendly reseller tool. The fact that it now has the entire HP PSG catalogue available is fantastic. The validation note feature is brilliant, exporting makes it easy to get HP special bid pricing. The Thin client config finder is such a brilliant feature. A lot of work and thought has gone into this software development, credit to the geniuses who worked on this. All in all a really, really advanced and useful tool that will make it easier for sales to sell HP!” Vanita Kalidas – Misco

Watch our iCreate ‘How To’ video to see how iCreate can work for you!

As you can see iCreate makes it easier to build and buy any HP PC Hardware, enhancing expertise and maximising sales opportunities – Start using the only recognised tool for HP PC configuration within the UK IT Channel!


< Starting configuring now with our exclusive iCreate demo >


Wednesday, 25 March 2015

The biggest mistakes when selling Apple products…

.... is when the focus is just on hardware.

The biggest mistake that we see when selling Apple products is when the focus is just on hardware. When the interaction between the reseller and the customer is transactional and that transaction is solely centred around hardware. You might think why is this such a mistake when you’ve managed to successfully sell your customer the hardware they needed or that you suggested for them.

In our experience, there is so much more that has to take place before anyone can even think of suggesting a piece of hardware or software. We are going to cover exactly what needs to happen over the next couple of weeks.


When you totally understand your customer’s situation you can then make recommendations as to how you can help them fix it with much more than just hardware.

When you get to know the customer, who they are and what they do – you start to build a clear idea of what problems they face. Only when you know what their ‘pains’ are, can you then start to ask the right questions about their situation. Moving conversations from hardware and more about the customer gives you a big advantage. You then start to understand more about not only their environment but also their position in the technology investment or simply just the organisation.

You might think that this would take more time than just a straightforward selling conversation, and you would be right. But what it does do is gives you much more clarity on what the solution to their problem may be and so your not just responding to their request for a new Mac or iPad.

“The conversation could take you onto training, software, accessories, planning, migration, servers, storage and so on.”

Knowing your customer’s situation inside out gives you the ability to open the conversation up to much more than just investing in a new piece of hardware. It gives you the chance to help your customer make the right decision on a whole solution rather than just one part of it.

The beauty of selling Apple solutions is that the more you learn about how powerful the Apple ecosystem is – the more you realise what it can do for you and your customers.

Let us know if this has been useful for you and please leave us a comment on what you think. If you are already doing this then what benefits are you already seeing?

Next time lets take a closer look at how to profile customers to make it easier to ask the right questions.

Until then try out some of the suggestions in this week’s blog and let us know how you get on.

The Westcoast Apple Team

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Top 5 Takeaways from Westcoast's Windows 2003 EOS Roadshows

As the clock ticks towards July 14th and the end of Microsoft’s support for Windows Server 2003, we invited resellers and their customers to attend our ‘Time for Change’ regional roadshows to get fully prepared for migration.

We ran three events this month in Birmingham, London and Manchester – each featuring a jam-packed agenda that gave resellers everything they needed to help them successfully migrate their customers from Windows Server 2003.

We are really pleased with how the roadshows went and have had some great feedback from attendees that it was of great value. So, for those that didn't make it, we wanted to share with you the highlights from the Windows 2003 EOS roadshows in order to ensure our partners have every success in the opportunity that the Server 2003 EOS date is providing!

Take a look at our top 5 Takeaways from the Event:


1. Server EOS is only 120 days away (as of today) – the average migration takes 100 days!

Now we know it probably isn't the first time you have talked to your customers about maintenance initiatives around upgrades, refreshes, and migrations. But do not make the mistake that the Windows Server 2003 migration is one of the same – you will lose! It's very easy to underestimate the complexity of the effort and therefore very easy to overrun on timeline and budget. More importantly, you will miss the opportunity to sell the bigger value to their business by modernising 7 to 10 years old hardware and software infrastructure in line with 'The New Style of IT'.



2. If your customers use Visa or MasterCard to transact on their website, you may not be compliant as of July 14th 2015.

The Windows Server 2003 EOS will affect a business' payment and accreditation status. Companies and organisations still working from Windows Server 2003 platforms, after July 2015, will not be adhering to the PCI compliance standards required to host both Visa & MasterCard transactions on their website.

Microsoft have stated “Payment Card Industry (PCI) policies will not be met with an operating system that is EOS” (Ebuyer, 2014)

3. There were 20 critical updates to Server 2003 in 2014. As of July 14th there will be NONE!

If this isn't scary enough to encourage migration then we don't know what will be.

Customers that go beyond the termination of extended support place themselves at increased risk because automated updates and security patches will no longer be available, and they will face regulatory non-compliance .

And don't forget that this also means that all those workloads, data sets, and apps also face this EOS too!

While these apps may serve current business needs, they represent significant business risk, can be expensive to maintain, and could slow down innovation.

Custom support agreements (CSAs) will be required for support after this date but we think if you take a look at the cost implications then you may think twice about sitting still!

Fees for a custom support agreement's first year are usually in the range of $200,000 and can even double or triple annually. For enterprises with large applications portfolios, the maintenance costs and performance limitations of legacy infrastructure will also impact investment in new projects.

4. Something needs to be done! Now!

So as you can see, time is most definitely of the essence and there is plenty of opportunity for partners to reap benefit from when it comes to the Windows 2003 Server EOS.

- Customers are likely take the opportunity to assess their Vmware investments as well
- They will examine whether to move applications to the cloud
- They will need help to define a future state and explore different options
- They will look at their organisation and processes to identify gaps
- They will want to discuss the risks, business value, and costs of moving off Windows Server 2003 environment to a new solution, like Windows Server 2012 R2. But remember – you are not alone. We have many resources available to our partners that will prepare you to help your customers when moving forward with the following next steps:



5. Westcoast can help you with the migration from anything, to anything, to on-prem, hybrid or cloud.

We have the solution to every scenario - call us today to discuss your migration plan.



To ensure success in your migration efforts, successfully offer continued protection of your customers' data, and improve the overall health of their IT with better services, apps, reliability and agility....

CONTACT WESTCOAST TODAY

Thursday, 12 March 2015

Westcoast and HP unveil new subscription model to bring a 'new style of IT' to the industry



We are really excited to be able work with our partners to open the door for SMB and end user customers when it comes to the latest HP products, services and accessories. We understand that, often the only thing holding them back from the latest solutions, is the large upfront costs and, that alone, shouldn't be how IT investments are made - we want to enable the end user to buy what they need as opposed to what they can afford.

So how does HP Subscription enable SMB and end user customers revolutionise their IT?

HP Subscription opens up a whole new world of HP kit and bundles that were previously well out of financial reach. What’s more, it’s a model that means an end-customer’s new IT kit moves from capex to opex so that depreciation becomes a thing of the past. SMB and end user customers can now quickly acquire technology, services and accessories essential for moving to the New Style of IT!

SMB customers can benefit from:
  • Low monthly fee that optimises cash flow (Capex to Opex)
  • Access to the latest technology
  • Bundled support to reduce cost of managing IT
  • Refreshing IT regularly to prevent obsolescence and disruptions in work flow
  • Reduced overhead
  • Avoiding maintenance and ongoing costs from old technology

What other benefits can partners themselves gain from HP Subscription?


Under the Westcoast HP Subscription offer, through its HP Financial Services (HPFS) arm, pays the reseller the full invoice value upfront. HPFS then collects a monthly fee from the customer so the reseller bears none of the risk. It also allows resellers to accelerate their revenues by creating new and affordable tailored bundles – a terrific cash-flow position for both you and your customers!

Benefit from increased opportunities, simplified sales processes and reduced risk.

HP Solution - Meeting your customers’ growing IT demands while delivering the investment flexibility needed to acquire the technology.

HP Subscription is now available as a live pilot scheme in the UK exclusively through Westcoast.

Find out more about HP Subscription by joining our webinar on Tuesday 19th May @ 3pm. The webinar will last approximately 30 minutes and you will also get an opportunity to ask any questions you may have –  

Register Here

Friday, 6 March 2015

A Time for Change – The Windows 2003 EOS Opportunity is knocking!

From the day this blog has been posted, there are just 130 days until Windows Server 2003 support is ending on July 14, 2015.

Now, for many of you, it comes as no surprise (we hope!) and I'm sure it's something you've been hearing about for the last year.

However, this opportunity for change is now just around the corner and with 900K instances still running in the UK, let alone the millions worldwide, it has been described as one of the largest IT opportunities of this decade.

The Windows 2003 EOS could signal the beginning of a new stage in the evolution of many organisations which is a HUGE opportunity for partners to innovate not only their customers' datacentres, but across the delivery and production of applications that drive their business too.

From hardware/software refreshes to assessment and migration services, the opportunity spans across Windows Server 2003, SBS 2003, SQL Server 2005 and older versions of Exchange for partners to help plan the updates and ensure customers' understand the options.

That all sounds good news for partners..... so what about the challenge?



Well, when we take a look at the migration time estimates (and bear in mind these are on the rather optimistic side!) you will really see that it's no longer 130 days of waiting but 130 days of getting out there and keeping your customers current.

For small to mid-size businesses, a Server Migration is estimated at 30-90 days and an Application Migration can take 60+ days!


2 down, 1 to go!

To help partners prepare for Windows Server 2003 migration, Westcoast has been busy hosting regional roadshows to provide them with everything they need to help them successfully migrate customers from Windows 2003.

The first two roadshows in Birmingham and London have been a great success and have been described as “Excellent and Informative”. Therefore we'd firstly like to thank all those that have attended already and wish you every success in the opportunity that the Server 2003 EOS date is providing!



BUT.... We aren't finished yet! It's not too late to find out what Server 2003 EOS means for your customers.

Please refer your colleagues to come to the next ones or if you haven't managed to attend yet we hope to see you at our final event:

Thursday 12th March – Manchester