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.

Thursday, 20 April 2017

Why it’s time to move to the new 7th Gen Intel Core Processors

It’s difficult to remember a time when Intel wasn’t top of the class for processors, but one thing is for certain: this hasn’t been achieved through resting on a brand name. Instead, each new generation of Intel processor brings with it both subtle and sizeable improvements on the previous year’s tech, while OEMs make sure that their next line of flagship devices launch with the processors firmly positioned front and centre on the spec sheets.

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

How much is your hand luggage worth?

How much is your hand luggage worth? With longer work commutes and travel between offices becoming more frequent, more and more people are taking valuables in hand luggage. A staggering 75% of people do not secure their luggage. This Kensington blog highlights the importance of securing your valuables when on your travels and is a valuable read if you're off on your travels this summer.

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Secure Productive Enterprise: The Next Big Thing for Licences in Office 365

By Tom Marwood

At the backend of last year, rather under the radar, Microsoft released a gem of a package that rolled out across multiple platforms. Although not advertised too much at the time, it’s now being noticed, and rightly so. This blog will discuss what it is, and how you can license it.

SPE (Secure Productive Enterprise) is the latest ‘bundle’ to be rolled out on Office 365 away from your standard Office 365 offerings. This combines the latest technology across Windows, Office 365, Enterprise Mobility and Security. Obviously there are packages such as Enterprise E3, Business Premium and so forth, but SPE gives you that next level of products, all in one price. There are two different products for SPE (E3 and E5), each offering the below:

Monday, 10 April 2017

Complex Solutions - Simply Sold

By Lee Prior

“I know enough about technology to know that I don’t know enough.” That’s what I often hear myself saying when faced with a technical question that exposes the limit of my knowledge. It’s a flippant comment that most times will buy me the breathing room I need to look up the subject matter and return with a full answer a little while later…That’s fine for me I’m in marketing, but a sales person faced with a call or presentation where they are expected to have all the information to hand in order to secure the deal doesn’t always have that luxury.

Thursday, 6 April 2017

Microsoft Azure Deployment Made Easy

By Martin Smith

In today’s world, the term Microsoft Cloud or Microsoft Azure fills people’s minds with exciting prospects. However, when it comes down to the pricing, configuration and implementation, people tend to switch off and/or let Azure fade out of their plans.

The reason for this is not always their fault. This can be a problem with something as simple as terminology and messaging. It could even be a problem with a certain topic, which most people don’t want to start a conversation about, called licensing. Which can be absolutely baffling.

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

Why you need Parallels in your Product Portfolio

Parallels Guest Post

You might not be aware, but here at Westcoast we’re quite picky when it comes to taking on new vendors. You see, we don’t believe in being a jack of all trades – instead, we prefer having a tailored line up of vendors that we can give our full support to from a Reseller perspective. Our work with Parallels is a perfect example of this.

Monday, 3 April 2017

Top tier sales made easy: Welcome to the new HP Premium website

By Emma Richardson,

There’s something amazingly satisfying about finding exactly the right device for a customer. Perhaps it’s the thrill that comes from digging through countless spec sheets to find something that ticks all the boxes, or maybe it’s the anticipation of future business through the customer loyalty that you’re inevitably earning. No matter what the reason, setting a customer up with their perfect device is mutually beneficial. This is doubly true for customers that have high budgets and even higher expectations. Thankfully the HP Premium website has been updated to make it easier than ever before to find the right top of the range device for your customers’ individual needs.

Friday, 31 March 2017

Hungry, Hungry HPE

So far 2017 has been a pretty interesting year for HPE. We’re only half way through March and already we’ve seen them extend their portfolio through the acquisition of enterprises like Simplivity, Niara and now most recently Nimble, with each of these additions being met with the slow head nod of general approval by the wider technology sector. That in itself is an achievement some would say, but when you consider the pace of change we are seeing, with Hybrid IT finally releasing the long promised potential of the Cloud and the reality of the Internet of Things cresting the horizon, to be able to navigate the turbulent waters of such rapid progress with a steady course, speaks volumes about the crew at the helm of the good ship HPE.

Once upon a time a story about a large IT company consuming one of their smaller rivals wasn’t really “Big News”, and had more to do with Darwinian natural selection, stock market roulette, Sabre Rattling or just plain good old fashioned billionaire vs billionaire ego than it did with a clear strategic vision or a drive for innovation - but things have changed.

As a lowly Marketing Manager, albeit for the biggest HPE Distributor in the UK, this type of corporate manoeuvring was an interesting side note that held my attention for as long as I was able to read without interruption, but ultimately news of a buyout had very little bearing on my day to day life. That is most decidedly not the case now, and rather than acquisition for acquisition’s sake these additions have the whiff of strategy about them, with each bringing their own particular part of the answer to a far larger question.

Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Why should your customers use Brother Genuine Supplies over compatible, non-genuine supplies?

Brother Guest Post

Brother Genuine Supplies deliver unrivalled print quality, superior reliability and reduced downtime and wastage. Westcoast resellers can cut the cost of printing while still getting the truly professional finish both them and their customers business deserve.

In this article, Louise Unsworth, Business Unit Manager Consumables for Brother UK, responds to some frequently asked questions from our resellers.

Monday, 27 March 2017

Big Data: Answering the questions that don’t yet exist

By Phil Le Blond 

Data is growing fast, real fast! It’s predicted that humanity’s accumulated digital universe will be 44 trillion gigabytes by 2020. That’s a lot of data to crunch considering today only 0.5% of data is ever analysed. Somewhere in that data we will find the cure for all disease, the ability to conserve our planet, to generate unlimited free energy, prevent war, and produce enough food for every person on the planet. Technology will have to help us, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning will guide us to the answers we seek, or perhaps decide to kill us all.

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

LEAP: Sell, Learn and Earn with Lenovo

Most loyalty programs deliver benefits to users but many can seem a little short of the mark. Lenovo were intent on developing a rewards system that loyal sales reps could really get some benefit from.
The Lenovo Expert Achievers Program (LEAP) is the end result and it’s helping the company’s enterprise partners and employees to develop the vital skills that enable them to become more productive and earn better revenues.

Monday, 20 March 2017

Westcoast Ignite Partner Symposium 2017 – Taking IT to the Next Level

By Lee Prior

It seems almost ridiculous that we’re approaching a full year since the inaugural Westcoast Ignite Partner Symposium, almost a full year since we spent a great day at the Mermaid theatre with colleagues, clients and partners and almost a full year since I had to promise everyone that came along that “Of course we’ll do another event in 2017.”

Thursday, 16 March 2017

Westcoast win PCR Cloud Distributor of the year!

By Sian Walsh 

This time last week Westcoast were anxiously putting on those glad rags and preparing themselves for what was set to be a fun filled night at The Brewery in London for the annual PCR Awards, an event which brings the UK IT Channel together to celebrate the past year's achievements.

Having been shortlisted for two awards: Hardware Distributor and Cloud Distributor Westcoast nervously awaited the results.

Monday, 13 March 2017

CRN Fight Night is back and Westcoast is still fighting fit

By Sian Walsh

It's nearly that that time of year again. Time to put on our boxing gloves, dig out the foam fingers and look forward to one of the best channel nights out in the industry, watching 10 of the channel's bravest contenders battle it out in the boxing ring all for their chosen charity.

Is it just me or does it feels like the buzz from CRN Fight Night 2016 is still ringing in everyone's ears and now... it's creeping up like there's no tomorrow! - Seriously where did those last 10 months go.

The event is a sell out every year. Hundreds of industry professionals come together to watch the action live from the ringside. Now fast approaching its 10th anniversary CRN has raised over £200,000 for charity since it first launched.

Thursday, 9 March 2017

You Can’t Sit Still In Business…

Fellowes Guest Post

Oh woe is us! An obesity ‘epidemic’ is sweeping the country! Cholesterol is sky-rocketing! Cheese, beer and chocolate just taste too damn good! And we’re all going to die of diabetes! The children! Won’t somebody think of the children?!?!

It seems that we just can’t move for advice about things that are bad for us these days; even over-browned toast comes with a health-warning. But you know, the real problem for most of us is that we’re just not moving… Although, admittedly, that’s mainly through laziness rather than being hemmed in by advice. However, that’s not always due to lifestyle choice.

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Why choose Epson inkjet for your business?

By Nicola Upe

Now is the time to invest in this future-minded technology

While so many vendors are scaling down strategies and reducing headcounts, Epson are investing €50 million into our European operations. Why? Because now is the best time for Epson inkjet printers.

Over the next two years, Epson plan to increase their current workforce by 10%, and kick off a strategic shift from consumer to business markets with a focus on infrastructure, information technology, marketing and headcount. 

Monday, 6 March 2017

Everything You Need to Know; Dynamics 365 and SPLA

 Microsoft Dynamics 365 is the next generation of intelligent business applications in the cloud, which enables organisations to grow, evolve, and transform. These applications provide CRM capabilities to help engage customers, empower employees, and reinvent products and business models. Microsoft Dynamics 365 helps customers to accelerate their digital transformation to meet the changing needs of their customers and capture the new business opportunities of tomorrow.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 released in SPLA on the 1st of February 2017. It replaced the previous Dynamics CRM SKUs.

Thursday, 2 March 2017

Microsoft Dynamics 365 (On-Premises) Licensing Update

Microsoft Dynamics 365 (On-Premises) is the replacement to Microsoft’s CRM On-Premises solution, available through Open Licensing, Open Value, OVS and OVS-ES. There are various options available, and a customer can start with one plan and move to new plans as and when they need extra capabilities. The licences come with renewable software assurance, which gives the customer a range of benefits such as new version rights, planning services, 24x7 phone and Web support, training.

Thursday, 23 February 2017

Cloud Vendor Spotlight: SimplySo, Filtered, and Cloudworks

By Katy Maley
You may not be fully aware, but Westcoast don’t just sell Microsoft products through CSP – there’s also a huge range of attached services that you can offer to your customers. These services act as complements to Microsoft products and show your customers that you can provide extra value to a transaction. 

Friday, 17 February 2017

‘The Big Pitch’ awards an extra £10,000 of marketing funds to innovative resellers

By Phil Lamplugh

It’s very exciting times here at Westcoast. On top of two huge promotions, we’re also looking to provide some extra funds for some great Microsoft marketing ideas. This is all a part of an initiative we’re calling ‘The Big Pitch’.

Tuesday, 7 February 2017

Expanding your HPE Services & Support portfolio

By Lee Prior

People come to you to with a need, but they’ll stay with you because of the services you offer, so how do you ensure loyalty from customers that are constantly being told they can get a better deal elsewhere?

Wednesday, 1 February 2017

The business case for Mobilty & Security – Selling Mobility and Security effectively

By Lee Prior

Mobility & Security must go hand in hand. You cannot truly have one without the other, and both are vital components in the modern economy. Mobility has transformed the way we live and work, and so it’s important that It service providers understand how position the benefits this fast moving technology as to offer.

Westcoast’s Cloud Marketplace: An Introduction

It’s safe to say that, over the last 18 months, CSP through Westcoast has risen at an astronomical rate. Currently we’re transacting over 140,000 seats across 400 of our Resellers and this is growing on a daily basis. One of the reasons why we’re getting such a demand from Resellers is the Westcoast Cloud Marketplace – so I thought I’d tell you more about it.

Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Fujitsu Scanners in the Legal Sector

Our legal institutions have often been accused of being locked in the past. Unwieldy filing systems and lots of paperwork form a large part of many solicitors’ offices around the country.  Just like other sectors, however, new technology needs to be embraced and in recent years, the CPS has been working hard to go fully digital.

The latest scanning technology is becoming important for the legal sector.

Thursday, 26 January 2017

The HP Elite Slice: Have Your Cake and Eat It

It’s easy to feel a bit sorry for the state of the humble desktop PC. Having been around for years, the reliable boxes have been getting steadily eroded by the laptop and all-in-one market as technology has progressed. That’s not to say that desktops have been getting left behind entirely: indeed, the modern desktop of today is noticeably smaller than its towering ancestors, and of course significantly more powerful. Still, in a world where we’re seeing laptops with three screens built-in, it can feel like the days of desktop innovation have all but vanished. That is, until you see HP’s latest offering.

Wednesday, 25 January 2017

iQuote version 2: Overview of the new features and functionalities

This week sees the launch of the revamped iQuote version 2 at Westcoast. The platform which is integrated within the Westcoast website, now incorporates an array of new features and benefits.

For those who aren’t aware iQuote is a popular quotation tool that enables channel partners to grow their HPE/HPI business. It gives quick and accurate HP PC and server quotes at the most competitive price.

In this blog I will go over some of the new features and benefits that iQuote version 2 offers to users and at the end are a number of helpful training videos and materials around the tool.

Thursday, 19 January 2017

The business case for Hybrid IT – Selling Hybrid IT effectively

Hybrid IT is all the rage in the IT world right now but what exactly does the term Hybrid IT actually mean?

Hybrid IT is the magic recipe for the perfect 21st century IT solution, and the ingredients are the right mix of private cloud, public cloud and traditional IT.

The recipe however is different for every organisation, and the only way to ensure you end up with the solution you need is to build it using HPE products backed up with the services and support of their largest and longest serving Value Add Distributor in Westcoast…That’s what the blurb from our new Ignite website says about Hybrid IT, and as descriptions go it’s not a bad one. But we thought we needed to give it a little more depth.

Monday, 16 January 2017

The HP Z2 Mini: Crafted for CAD

There was a time when CAD (Computer Aided Design) was synonymous with Mac, but with the leaps that the big device manufacturers have made, they’re now chipping away at the market that Apple once monopolised. And it’s easy to see why.

Whether it’s through packing everything behind a screen for an all-in-one or putting together a supercharged ultrabook, OEMs are getting really good at doing more with less and less space. One of HP’s latest trump cards, the Z2 Mini, is a prime example, operating as a CAD-ready workstation that’s as powerful as it is small.

Tuesday, 3 January 2017

Internet of Things - How to get involved in a huge growth opportunity

You can't pick up any tech publication at the moment without reading something about the “Internet of Things (IOT)”.  In fact HPE CEO Meg Whitman recently sent out a Christmas message talking about a world, where everything is connected and everything computes. She cites a recent World Economic Forum report that predicts that within the next 10 years, IOT will impact nearly two-thirds
of global GDP.

Gartner predicts there will be 26.5 billion connected IOT endpoints globally by 2020, with other analysts saying this number is conservative. These end points will be hundreds of different products from smart meters to buildings. There is no question that there are real life benefits that will drive productivity and efficiency in both the business and consumer world and therefore is no surprise that IT vendors and Mobile operators are all scrambling to provide IOT solutions.

The challenge is how you manage them, get them talking to each other and make sense of all the data they produce.