Thursday, 12 October 2017

Zeroing in on Advanced Cloud Solutions for the SMB






























ZenZero began as a small business with big ideas. The plan was to deliver IT solutions to the SMB, so that their clients could rely on enterprise-level technology while working on a more modest scale. A personal, efficient and knowledgeable service soon won ZenZero fans and customers, but the team saw room for improvement.

Small and medium sized businesses have a very distinct set of needs. The likelihood is that they won’t have a dedicated tech department, or even managers, so everything – all forms of support and advice – will need to come from their external solutions supplier. And that’s what ZenZero specialise in; providing bespoke, customer-focused IT products, help and guidance to growing companies. Although already a gold-rated Microsoft partner, ZenZero were experiencing one major difficulty; an inflexibility in service delivery.

Friday, 6 October 2017

Find out how one vendor is changing the landscape of audio management



Everywhere things are getting smarter, from self-driving cars to supermarket shelves that analyse how we shop (yes, really), and everything in between. So why should headsets get left behind, especially when they’re so important to the business environment?

That’s where Sennheiser’s aptly named HeadSetup Pro Manager comes in. It’s a powerful cloud-based solution that lets an IT administrator manage, update and configure settings for every Sennheiser headset and speakerphone in the organisation, from one central location.

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

When unbeatable service meets improbable speed


The Westcoast CSP and Keybridge IT Solutions story…











Every client is different. Every one. It’s this understanding that Keybridge IT Solutions and Westcoast have in common.

Supplying IT solutions for the recruitment industry, Keybridge have very particular needs for their clients. Reliable, intuitive software; consistent, trustworthy service; and speed. In a sector where change happens constantly, Keybridge need the ability to react almost instantly, and that’s what they have found in Westcoast CSP.

Monday, 2 October 2017

Take your cloud business to the next level on the 12th of October

By Katy Maley















The date has been set …… The 12th of October:

The world of Cloud is growing at an expanding rate and it is hard to keep up with all the new products and demands thrown at us daily. How do we Migrate? What is GDPR? Is our system safe? These are all questions resellers are asking our team of experts on a daily basis.

Our Nebula programme is all around enablement, education and ensuring you have the right solutions to showcase to your customers. Nebula has been running for two years successfully, and this year it’s my turn to run the event. After many cappuccinos and meetings, I’ve put together an agenda that promises a great day – I hope you agree.

Thursday, 28 September 2017

Coming Up for Air – All You Need to Know About Surface in Education


 ‘Our aim is to empower every student on the planet to achieve more.’ Steve Beswick, Business Development Director – Education Industry, Microsoft.
That, in a nutshell, is what Surface in Education is all about.

Anyone who has paid attention to Microsoft over the years will be aware of the company’s long-term commitment to education. Right from the days of Bill Gates, Microsoft has invested in education; it’s one of the key tenets at the heart of the business. Consequently, as a reseller, if you’re looking to expand your target market, the education sector is the ideal area to set your sights, because Microsoft – and Westcoast – are already prepared to help you. 

Wednesday, 27 September 2017

Can you be the F1rst Among Equals?






















There’s always something special about being the first. You may carry the honour with a devil-may-care nonchalance, but whether you’re the first to own a new piece of tech, or you’ve come first place in the parent’s egg ‘n’ spoon race at your kid’s sports day, there’s a certain swagger that you just can’t shake off.

Imagine, then, the feeling not only of coming first, but of winning a corking prize for doing so. Oh! The smugness would overflow! Well, that’s the opportunity you get with Westcoast F1rsts, in collaboration with Microsoft.

Tuesday, 26 September 2017

HP’s Big Answers to the Security Conundrum



Here’s a sentence you might not be used to seeing: It’s not possible to be fully protected against every security risk in IT. Maybe that doesn’t surprise you. After all, how do you even begin a conversation about security when it comes to IT? If we accept that full protection isn’t possible, then where do we start? Well, with HP actually. And here’s why.

HP are leading the way as an OEM by including vital security features with their Elite range of devices. With such a vast amount of considerations to be made, it’s no longer viable or fair to leave security up to end users, which is why HP have introduced some innovative new features into their premium product line, equipping users with some vital security tools from the get go.

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Are education customers overlooking storage?

Guest Post






Computers have changed everything. Whether we’re talking the classic desktop, the humble laptop, or the flexible tablet; they’re now such a natural part of our lives that some would say that we take them for granted, despite the increasingly central role that they play.

The education sector is playing a key part in making technology more accessible. IT skills are essential in the vast majority of jobs once pupils and students move into the working world, which is why it’s so important to establish a wide-ranging digital environment in schools: not only so that they have hands-on experience of using technology and devices, but also as a means of teaching them the potential dangers that they can face in the new digital age.

Monday, 18 September 2017

Getting Theale Green into Tech

Press Release
























July saw the exciting final of Education Business Partnership’s (EBP) three-day programme where they joined Westcoast, one of the UK’s largest IT distributors, at Theale Green School to engage with, and inspire, Year eight students about jobs and roles in the technology sector.

The programme covered various topics, including; products and marketing, job roles, skills and qualities and technology of the future. Jane Grunseid, Business Development Manager said, “The programme has been really successful with 90% of students saying they were inspired and motivated. This comes at a good point in their education where GCSE subjects are still to be chosen, career paths are uncertain and students are eager to have their horizons broadened.”

Thursday, 14 September 2017

Window 10 Pro for Workstations

By Owen Hutchinson





Windows 10 Pro for Workstations is coming: find out everything you need to know and avoid paying extra


This Autumn Microsoft is rolling out Windows 10 Pro 64 for Workstations: an OS variation that’s optimised for professional users. This isn’t just a vanity update, with the new features covering a range of areas that are a boon for hardware that has to support critical workloads.

Specifically, the new features include support for:

● Up to 4 Physical CPUs

● Massive memory (up to 6 TB)

● SMB Direct/RDMA capable network cards

● Persistent Memory (NVDIMM) and Remote Direct Memory Access (RDMA), so you can blast through file transfers and advanced workloads

● Creation of Resilient File Systems (ReFS) volumes so that data is mirrored to multiple drives, while being monitored and repaired if degradation is detected

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

Why we need another HPE access point

By David Anthony


I must admit, I thought to myself “why are HPE pushing an Office Connect access point? Isn’t this just going to take business away from Aruba and confuse the issue?”

Not for the first time, I’ll admit I was wrong. I’ve written previously about how smartphones have raised everyone’s expectations about what we should be able to do in the workplace. If we can run our lives from our phones, why not our businesses from our laptops, tablets and phones, wherever we are?

Monday, 4 September 2017

Portable gaming: An industry on the move

By Carl Oxley



















Ever since Nintendo launched the first Game Boy in 1989, the world of portable gaming has been witness to a very gradual but notable rise. As graphics improved, more games became available and, most importantly, with huge leaps in memory and the continuation of Moore’s Law, the consoles themselves became increasingly portable. As such, the market has undergone a consistent growth that has recently hit an unprecedented peak.

Friday, 1 September 2017

Securing your Hybrid Cloud/Multi-cloud Strategy

By Adam Hartley





















Cloud technologies are no longer the leading edge done by early adopter companies. In fact, private clouds, hybrid clouds and multi-clouds are quickly becoming the de-facto standard among organisations across business verticals.

The major drivers for this migration to the cloud is lower price, scalability, global availability and the need for global availability with no downtime.

Unsurprisingly, Cloud Service Provider revenues grew steadily in 2016 with Amazon Web Services (AWS) growing its revenue to more than $12.2 billion, followed by Azure, Google Cloud Platform (GCP) and IBM Cloud.

Tuesday, 29 August 2017

Data, data everywhere - Securing the Internet of Things Q+A

By Lee Prior & Paul Harman






















Take a look around the typical home 10 years ago and you could probably count the number of devices connected to the internet on the fingers of one hand for the most part, but take a look around that same home today and you’re likely to run out fingers before you run out of devices. Computers, Phones, Games Consoles, TV’s even ligtbulbs, thermostats and doorbells in some cases, and these are going to be joined by a whole host of other things in the coming months and years.

Tuesday, 22 August 2017

Westcoast and HP Offer Customisation for Education

PRESS RELEASE

Distributor Westcoast has teamed up with HP to launch an exclusive customised-to-order (CTO) initiative for education-focused channel partners.

Created by Westcoast, the HP for Education (HPFE) configuration tool enables resellers, or their end-user schools, colleges and universities, to design and build their own bespoke HP desktop PCs - and then receive delivery within 48 hours of their order.

Paul Hamilton, Client Director, Westcoast, said: “This initiative represents a brilliant market opportunity for our partners and it brings the long-awaited benefit of immediacy to educational institutions.”

Thursday, 17 August 2017

Westcoast Ignite – A fresh new vision

By Lee Prior
















As the Marketing Manager for all things HPE here at Westcoast I’ve seen a lot of changes over the past 12 months. Acquisitions like Simplivity and Nimble have expanded the HPE offering, and added to an already deep roster that includes Aruba, Synergy, 3Par and Point Next not to mention industry leading Server and Storage products like Gen9/10 and the ever reliable MSA series.

With so much evolution happening so quickly it can be a challenge to keep up and make sure we’re serving up the information our partners need in a relevant and easy to use format, but we’ve been doing our best and think we’ve got a great tool in the shape of our brand new Westcoast Ignite Portal.

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

GDPR: Don’t let print provide a weak spot

KYOCERA Guest Post














A hot topic over the coming months is GDPR – General Data Protection Regulations.

GDPR is the result of four years of work by the EU to bring data protection legislation into line with the previously unforeseen ways that data is used.

The UK relies on the Data Protection Act 1998, introduced following the 1995 EU Data Protection Directive, long before digital technology became the norm. As well as addressing a need for clear rules in line with today’s workplace, GDPR introduces tougher penalties including fines of up to €20 million, or 4% of businesses global annual turnover (whichever is greater) for any breaches or non-compliance.

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Unlock additional marketing funds with these Big Pitch top tips

By Phil Lamplugh

























In the world of IT, it can be difficult for organisations to get seen. That’s why last year Westcoast launched The Big Pitch, and that’s why we’ve brought it back again. The premise is simple: we give your Microsoft marketing funding a boost, so that you can carry out bigger and more impactful campaigns.

Resellers can bid for up to £8000 of additional funding, and the process couldn’t be simpler. All you have to do is go to our dedicated webpage, fill out the application form and send it to us at MicrosoftMarketing@westcoast.co.uk. We’ll get back to you with some questions, and this will hopefully be followed by us accepting your proposal.

Thursday, 10 August 2017

Westcoast scores hat-trick with gaming giants MSI, Gigabyte, and Steel Series

PRESS RELEASE

Trio select the distribution and supply chain specialist for UK wide partnership




UK based distributor and supply chain innovator, Westcoast, today reveals it has signed UK distribution deals with three of the world’s leading players in the gaming market; MSI, Gigabyte and Steel Series.

Gaming laptop manufacturers MSI and Gigabyte and peripherals expert Steel Series have selected Westcoast as their preferred distribution partner for the UK market, further strengthening the company’s standing in the gaming sector.

Friday, 4 August 2017

Westcoast Unveils New CSP Business Boosting Initiative

PRESS RELEASE





















Distributor Westcoast has launched a brand new programme offering exclusive, long-term support for its CSP (cloud solutions provider) partners.

The Westcoast Cloud Development programme offers resellers a range of tailored benefits all designed to help support their CSP business and accelerate their growth in the cloud.

Partners signing up for the programme will move through a series of development levels - supported by Westcoast every step of the way. As they progress they will have opportunities to unlock additional benefits and rewards to further aid their cloud journeys.

Thursday, 3 August 2017

Looking to 2020 – IT trends in the Media Sector

By Loren Stow


























The International Data Corporation (IDC) forecasts global IT spend will exceed £2tn by 2020, and while PC, tablet and smartphone sales show signs of plateauing, the market’s 3.3 percent upward trajectory over the next four years will be sustained by the digital transformation found on third-party cloud and mobility platforms.

Healthcare will remain the fastest growing sector in the run-up to 2020 with a projected 5.7 percent rise in IT spending, followed by the banking, media and professional services sectors at 4.9 percent each. So where are the opportunities in each of these sectors? Where do their technological challenges lie? And, what technology-specific solutions will each sector look for as 2020 looms large on the horizon?

In this blog series we take a look at each sector in more detail in the coming weeks, however if you’d like to request a copy of the complete white paper, please click here. In case you’ve missed them, we’ve already taken a look at the Healthcare & Banking sectors.

Tuesday, 1 August 2017

The Future of Technology in 2020

By Loren Stow



With 2020 just a hop, skip and a jump away and with technology forever evolving it's crazy to think that in just three years time our future could change so dramatically, all thanks to the innovations of new technologies.

Gartner have made some fascinating predictions of what's to come in the next few years and the prospect of a more digital future is really exciting.

Take a look at the infographic below for a short, but fascinating, read.

And if you’d like to know more about where the biggest tech opportunities will lie over the next three years, read our White Paper series on Global IT Trends 2020 here.

Thursday, 27 July 2017

The 6 Steps to a Decluttered Desk


Desks! Love them or hate them, let’s start with a truth that might hit a bit hard: you probably spend more time at your desk than you do in your living room at home. With that out of the way, the good news is that they’re a lot easier to declutter and tidy than a living room is. How, you ask?

Wednesday, 26 July 2017

HP Elitebook x360 Product Spotlight: Technology meets wizardry























It’s easy to get lost in a labyrinth of options when it comes to finding the perfect laptops for a workforce. Great news then that HP have offered a novel solution to the quagmire of laptop shopping by putting everything you could possibly want into one premium product. Meet the Elitebook x360.

For the purpose of clarity, ‘premium’ in this instance doesn’t mean that the x360 is made from shiny bits of metal that will shatter when you hit the space key a few too many times. That’s because HP have created a sturdy, versatile device that just begs to be used in all of its different forms, but more on that later. Despite the luxury appearance, this isn’t an ornament.

Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Arista - The Master of One

By David Anthony






















HPE’s partnership with Arista is the latest stage in the rebalancing of their switching portfolio. Arista’s products focus exclusively on ultra-low latency and software defined data centre switching, ideal for financial services and service provider networks. This is the perfect complement to HPE’s Comware operating system switch range for the traditional, on premise, data centre and Aruba at the ever-evolving intelligent edge.

What makes Arista stand out in these sectors? It concentrates exclusively on that end of the market, focussing all its resources there. Arista has never tried to be a Jack-Of-All-Trades, it just masters one. Arista switches use two specific features to achieve this, EOS and SysDB.

Thursday, 20 July 2017

Introducing Westcoast's New Cloud Development Programme

By Tom Marwood






















When Westcoast first started the journey into supplying Cloud products, we promised ourselves that we would do as much as possible to make our partners feel like the most important part of our business. For a long time, the relationship between the Distributor and Reseller has been far too robotic, and with CSP this approach needed to be changed in order for both parties to succeed.

Over the last two years, Westcoast have been driven to make this dream as close to reality as possible, and we'd like to think that, with our hands on approach and award winning service both on the sales and support front, we've delivered on our promise. This doesn't mean that we're going to rest on our laurels however, and we've spent the last few months coming up with something new and exciting which we can now share with you!

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

5 Key Learnings from Microsoft Inspire

By Michael Freeman






















2017 has been an incredible year for the technology industry. This was displayed with Microsoft holding their largest Partner Conference to date; the attendee numbers were through the roof and we saw the highest number of female delegates than ever before, showing promise that our industry is ever moving onwards and upwards.

The location was Washington DC, one of the most iconic cities in the world and home of the United States congress. This was the perfect setting for many of Microsoft's hard working and innovative partners to gather and share their knowledge and wisdom. I personally met some truly inspirational people who are doing both important and incredible work on Microsoft's platform and beyond.

HPE Gen 10 - A New Compute Experience





















HPE’s annual Discover event is often the platform from which new ideas and innovations are launched, and Las Vegas saw a pretty important one this year as, with much trumpeting and fanfare the latest iteration of their market defining server series was introduced to a waiting world.

You can very often tell how excited a vendor is about a new product, solution or innovation by the focus it is given at every opportunity, and if that holds true then HPE are very excited indeed about Gen 10 and everything it has to offer, and in truth they have every right to be excited.

Thursday, 6 July 2017

Looking ahead to 2020 – IT trends in the Banking Sector

By Loren Stow

The International Data Corporation (IDC) forecasts global IT spend will exceed £2tn by 2020, and while PC, tablet and smartphone sales show signs of plateauing, the market’s 3.3 percent upward trajectory over the next four years will be sustained by the digital transformation found on third-party cloud and mobility platforms.

Healthcare will remain the fastest growing sector in the run-up to 2020 with a projected 5.7 percent rise in IT spending, followed by the banking, media and professional services sectors at 4.9 percent each. So where are the opportunities in each of these sectors? Where do their technological challenges lie? And, what technology-specific solutions will each sector look for as 2020 looms large on the horizon?

In this blog series we take a look at each sector in more detail in the coming weeks, however if you’d like to request a copy of the complete white paper, please click here. In case you missed it, we’ve already taken a look at the Healthcare sector here.

Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Would your business be protected from a vicious Petya Malware attack?

By Adam Hartley




















A new variant of the Petya malware family was discovered on Tuesday 27th June 2017. The Petya family of malware is not a new one and was first seen and classified in March 2016. Juniper researchers have previously blogged about this malware in the past. This previous version of the Petya ransomware is available to cybercriminals to purchase as a service (Ransomware-as-a-service or RaaS) rather than developing their own malware.

If you're not quite sure what Petya Malware is, in simple terms it's a vicious computer program that steals your computers information and makes it unreadable to the computer. If your computer cannot read the data then it is lost to you and you will have to pay the creators money to get your data back.

Friday, 30 June 2017

A 'Virtual Reality' For Every Sector

By Loren Stow

Virtual Reality users are set to almost double in number from this year to next - to an estimated 171 million world-wide. It’s no wonder because there is hardly a sector, service or product that could not benefit from giving their customers a virtual, augmented or at least extended reality. We took a quick look at a wide selection of sectors to see how VR is making inroads, changing the rules, enriching the experience, and even making what was previously impossible, possible.










Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Stay ahead of the curve in gaming with Samsung's new gaming monitors






















So they’re up to their ears in RAM, they’ve got a graphics card as powerful as the sun, a super-powered processor, and an SSD that’s faster than Usain Bolt on roller skates. So what’s the modern gamer missing? The answer is right in front of your nose. Like the cruellest of bosses, end-users itch to squeeze every ounce of performance out of their mega machines – often without updating the thing that actually displays the fruits of their labours: the humble monitor.

Until relatively recently monitors were a non-entity in the arms race that is PC gaming, not because they weren’t considered, but because they weren’t available. Things have changed since then, and Samsung’s latest offering is indicative of just how important having the right monitor is. The technology giant doesn’t just raise the bar; rather it straps the bar to a rocket and sends it to new celestial heights.

Monday, 19 June 2017

10 steps to increase your StoreOnce sales by up to 35% with NinjaProtected+

By Billy Robinson

























Data is the currency of the modern business, and you don’t have to look back as far as Feudal Japan to see what happens to organisations that fall victim to data loss. Despite this though, it’s a fact that customers sometimes struggle to control their backup environment and understand problems like: backups lasting over a week, failures, data retention and that’s why HPE has developed a tool to get backup systems under control: The Ninja Protected+ Assessment.

Thursday, 15 June 2017

Windows Server: The Support Available

By Phil Lamplugh



























Windows Server 2016 has been out for a while now, so I thought it would be a good time go through all of the support that you can get from Westcoast.

First of all, one of key selling points of Westcoast overall is that we dont use any sort of voicemail system here. Every time you call during our office hours (and sometimes outside of them), youre guaranteed to speak to a human straight away.

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Why your customers want you to discuss HPE Synergy and composable infrastructure






















Remember when HPE (HP in old money) brought Blades and the virtualised infrastructure to the channel over a decade ago? That was a land mark moment for the evolution of the data centre. To reduce rack space, operating costs and drive efficiencies that an IT manager could not only visualise but also deliver the ROI that the business demands.

HPE Blades are still here, in fact there will be Gen 10 Blades released this summer. What do Blade customers want and expect from their IT infrastructure in 2017? The answer is a composable infrastructure – but do they know that and what does that mean? Isn’t that just another phrase banded about the channel like Hybrid IT, hyper-converged and the cloud? Let’s look at composable infrastructure in more detail.

Thursday, 8 June 2017

SimpliVity - Simple but Effective

By Garrick Ward 

So far this year we’ve seen a raft of acquisitions from HPE, as they seek to strengthen their portfolio and deliver industry-leading solutions to improve business outcomes. SimpliVity is undoubtedly one of the most high profile of these additions – allowing HPE to create the most complete Hyperconverged platform on the market today!

What is it that they bring to the party and why should the Channel sit up and take notice?

It’s been said that a picture paints a thousand words, so rather than write a thousand words here’s a picture that should say it all…

Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Looking to 2020 – IT trends in the Healthcare Sector

By Loren Stow




























The International Data Corporation (IDC) forecasts global IT spend will exceed £2tn by 2020, and while PC, tablet and smartphone sales show signs of plateauing, the market’s 3.3 percent upward trajectory over the next four years will be sustained by the digital transformation found on third-party cloud and mobility platforms.

Healthcare will remain the fastest growing sector in the run-up to 2020 with a projected 5.7 percent rise in IT spending, followed by the banking, media and professional services sectors at 4.9 percent each. So where are the opportunities in each of these sectors? Where do their technological challenges lie? And, what technology-specific solutions will each sector look for as 2020 looms large on the horizon?

Monday, 5 June 2017

Keep learning with Hewlett Packard Enterprise


This year marks a decade in the existence of the smartphone. This period has revolutionised our relationship to information. Our expectation in our private lives is for whatever information we want, where ever and whenever we want it. This expectation has become a demand, one that hardware and software vendors have responded to, providing ever greater tools for living and enjoyment.

This demand is spreading into all aspects of our lives. Accessibility and flexibility is becoming the norm at work. The anticipation by 2020 is that more people will be connecting wirelessly than by wire in business. Not only does this mean that hardware needs to be of a higher performance and feature level to meet this increased data requirement, but the server, storage and networking infrastructure needs significantly more advanced levels of security to safeguard this new way of working.

Thursday, 25 May 2017

The new Surface Pro is here – and you need it in your life

By Phil Lamplugh



I had the benefit of attending the Surface Partner Briefing event yesterday. Given the recent spate of announcements, there was no shortage of things to talk about. But it was the new Surface Pro that was the main conversation piece.

Having seen it in the flesh, the first thing to report is as that in terms of appearance it looks very similar to a Surface Pro 4, and that’s not a bad thing – why change what works? Still, Microsoft are being very clear that this isn’t a Surface Pro 5 – there’s no more talk of a ‘tablet that replaces your PC’; instead, the new Surface Pro is touted as ‘the most versatile laptop’, and when you take a look at the components it’s easy to see why.

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

A Clean and Clear Business Case

Collaboratively written by KYOCERA and Nicola Upe

Not so long ago there was a time when CFCs, greenhouse gases, aerosols and the ozone layer were the talk of the town. Discussions about the damaging properties of ozone depleting substances were never far from the headlines as research revealed just how damaging those nasty chemicals were and still are. 2017 marks the 30th anniversary of the Montreal Protocol, a landmark international agreement signed by 191 countries that had the goal of phasing out the production and use of CFCs and other ozone depleting chemicals. While it worked with the likes of aerosols, there are still everyday activities emitting harmful ozone – including printing.

Monday, 22 May 2017

Get creative with the HP ZBook 15u G3



Does anyone ever look back on IT hardware with fondness? Has a friend or colleague ever said to you, “You know what, I really miss my Dell Precision 380”? Yeah, that’s what I thought. We’re living in a technological boom, and it’s a great time to be working in IT and following the changes as they happen.


It doesn’t require a great stretch of the imagination to say that those who have benefited most from the constant advances in IT hardware are those who need the most power. For example, gone are the days when designers were using workstations the size of fridge-freezers with 1 gig of RAM in a desperate bid to keep on top of their workload (albeit slowly). Devices have simultaneously slimmed down, risen in performance, and gotten cheaper. And this means that designers are given more flexibility in choice of tech, and that they can finally use workstations that look as appealing as the content that’s being created on them.

Friday, 19 May 2017

9 Ways to Find New Business on Linkedin

By Sian Walsh
























Did you know that LinkedIn launched in 2003? No, me neither! I've been a LinkedIn Member since 2012 and at the time I thought I was quite new to the party - it turns out I was actually quite a late adopter.

At the time of joining Linkedin I had recently finished uni and was looking for my first proper job. Having stumbled across this 'new' platform it seemed it would be the perfect place to showcase myself, network with professionals and get on the job search.

5 years on and times have changed I've got a great job at Westcoast and i'm far from looking for a new one, yet I find myself spending a large proportion of my day on Linkedin. But why am i on Linkedin so much i hear you ask..

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Reminder: UK G-SPLA Discounts removed from 1st of July 2017

By Imran Malik



















G-SPLA discounts are changing… Microsoft are adopting a phase-down approach to reduce discounts in phases with the intent that there will be no special G-SPLA pricing or discounts from 1st July 2017.

This means that any usages you report for July 2017 on these G-SPLA contract will not get any discounts and will be charged at Corporate pricing.

Within the G-SPLA amendment each partner has signed, there is a table that shows the G-SPLA discount schedule that you can refer to if you need the confirmation at contract level. Here’s what it's going to look like going forward;


Friday, 12 May 2017

Cheating the Cheaters

Fellowes Guest Post


Raising the Standards of Computer-Based Testing
























Exam season is here! And with more and more schools, colleges and universities using computers for tests cheating is on the up. What are you doing to cheat the cheaters?

Back in the day, when most of us were at school, the most sophisticated means of cheating in a test was to spend a fruitless evening copying notes on to your forearm, or hope that you were seated next to a clever kid so you could surreptitiously peer over your neighbour’s shoulder. Low-tech solutions for a low-tech school environment. What happens, though, when you introduce computers into the examination hall?

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Your Surface Update From Westcoast




September 2016 was the month Westcoast become a distributor in the UK selling Microsoft Surface, as well as accessories and warranties. Since then the time has flown by, and Microsoft have had some major changes in that short timescale.

New products, new pricing and new ordering procedures have been brought on board in the few months since the launch. The product has been greatly taken on board by most of our partners who are approved to purchase these fantastic devices.

Friday, 5 May 2017

Westcoast Ignite Partner Symposium 2017 - A View From The Top

By Lee Prior














Well it’s been a week since the event and already I’ve had several people asking me when the next Ignite Partner Symposium is likely to be. Short answer is “not until 2018,” but that’s not to say you won’t have every opportunity to learn more about Westcoast, HPE, Microsoft and all the subject matter that was discussed during another great day.



Those partners that made the trip 500ft up to Landing 42 of the Leadenhall Building on the 27th April were treated not only to a great view across our Capital, but also some insightful and informative presentations on the direction and relative benefits of Hybrid IT, an enthusiastic and thought-provoking session on Aruba, IOT and all things Mobility from Eugene Berger, and details on the future role of Simplivity from European VP John Lucey to name but a few.


Thursday, 4 May 2017

Meet Paula 'Cast Iron' Kastrouni - Westcoast's first female CRN Fight Night contender

By Sam Brenkal

If there’s one Westcoast employee that you don’t want to get on the wrong side off, it is surely Paula ‘Cast Iron’ Kastrouni. This month, sales account manager Paula will confidently stride into CRN fight night 2017, aiming to unleash the frustrations of three (almost) alcohol free months of extreme training onto her unwitting opponent.


We spoke with Paula to find out a bit more about the woman behind the flying fists and why she has decided to take on the mantel of securing Westcoast’s first winning belt in the annual fight night event. “I’ve been involved in martial arts in the past, I enjoy having something to work towards and a challenge to look forward to. I enjoy going out and having a wild time so this has made me calm it down and focus on something else, giving me a controlled environment to release my energy”

Friday, 28 April 2017

New AMD Radeon Pro Range Smashes Limitations and Empowers Designers

AMD Guest Post 



AMD has refreshed its line of GPUs, meaning that the FirePro series is no more, and the Radeon Pro is the new king of the workstation. You can’t claim the throne without power though, and the new set of Radeon Pro graphics cards have brought along some considerable improvements that promise to keep design professionals well equipped for future developments in the industry.


Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Introducing Westcoast Financial Services – end to end B2B financial and asset management solutions.











It’s been 2 months now since I joined Westcoast and I feel like my feet haven’t touched the ground! My background includes roles within GE Capital Bank and HPE Financial Services. In fact during my time at HPE I dealt closely with Westcoast and so when I was offered a role to head up strategy for Westcoast Financial Services, I jumped at the chance.

Over the last 2 months I have been busy meeting customers, understanding their needs for finance and helping to drive both higher attach and enrichment to their go to market. And we’re now in a great position with our own go to market.

In the IT industry the one constant is change and Westcoast have always been the pioneering distribution business which delivers both innovation and solutions to resellers and customers alike. In a recent survey of top IT procurement professionals, 93% were clear that a pay per month option was a critical factor taken into account when deciding where to source IT solutions for their business.

Monday, 24 April 2017

We're headed for a Big Data-Internet of Things 'Big Bang'

Making the most of the Big Data/Internet of Things opportunity

The recent news about Microsoft researchers working on a new project aimed at securing low-cost Internet of Things (IoT) devices really caught my eye.

Hopefully, Project Sopris, as it’s known, will prove to be a significant step forward in the battle to protect IoT microcontrollers against security threats posed by internet connectivity.

It’s a positive play by Microsoft. One that delivers a welcome blast of reassurance given we all recognise security and risk as being the biggest concerns around IoT and its unstoppable rise.

This global proliferation of IoT devices is one of the three main reasons why Big Data is getting even bigger.

Friday, 21 April 2017

Getting more from ‘best of both’ worlds



It feels like it’s always been the same old story for the majority of businesses on their cloud journeys. Or sometimes the lack of journey.

They reach a stage where a certain amount of their data and applications have been successfully migrated to the cloud, while the rest - the ones that feel can’t be moved -remain on-prem.

Once those basic applications are moved to the cloud this should be their chance to take stock and see what else could be done to make their IT more efficient or cost-effective.

Cue head-scratching and deliberations on how they can best utilise both on-prem equipment and cloud based services.

But having applications running in two different places but connecting to each other has become very achievable especially with the advent of open 'apis' (application programming interfaces), which allow applications to communicate with each other.

The reality is that today, more and more businesses believe a blend of cloud and on-prem is a desirable end-position.