Cloud Visionaries, Industry Luminaries Gather to Unveil First in a Series of US-Based "Centers of Excellence"
Westcon Group, Inc., the leading specialty distributor in data center, networking, convergence, security, and mobility, today unveiled the first in a series of US-based "Centers of Excellence" for value-added resellers to receive hands-on training across a broad range of solutions targeted at next-generation, virtualized data centers. These LEAP (Learn, Experience, Architect and Plan) Centers provide the necessary foundation for reseller partners to test, train, experiment, simulate and collaborate with a broad range of leading data center solutions, including the Cisco Unified Computing System.
The opening is set against the backdrop of Westcon Group's newest data center summit taking place today — a gathering of cloud visionaries and industry luminaries exploring the challenges and opportunities associated with deploying the new data center. Speakers include top channel executives from Cisco, as well as a presentation by cloud visionary Steve Kaplan — author of the popular blog By the Bell. The discussions open the day, followed by a ribbon-cutting ceremony of the LEAP Center at the Comstor offices later that afternoon.
"When we unveiled our inaugural LEAP Center in Brussels last month, our vision was clear: develop 'centers of excellence' that go well beyond demonstrations — offering the ability to experience and work hands-on with integrated, next-generation data center infrastructures," said Dean Douglas, President and Chief Executive Officer, Westcon Group. "Today's launch gives resellers a unique opportunity to experience these technologies hands-on, a major competitive advantage as they pursue new data center opportunities."
Each LEAP Center is engineered to replicate real-world scenarios faced in deploying virtualized servers with customers. Resellers can test and experience a wide-array of complementary solutions, including the Cisco Unified Computing System, storage offerings from such leading vendors as NetApp, EMC — as well as virtualized applications from VMware, Microsoft, Oracle, and SAP. Full functionality is available both on-site and via remote access.
"Westcon Group continues to make significant investments in Cisco capabilities, and the new LEAP Center is no different," said Scott Brown, Vice President of Worldwide Distribution, Cisco. "As channel partners and customers explore all that the Cisco Unified Computing System has to offer, it's important they not only hear about the functionality, but experience this solution first-hand. Westcon Group's new LEAP Center presents a great opportunity for partners and customers to get hands-on experience with Cisco data center solutions."
The accompanying summit provides an ideal backdrop for the LEAP Center, offering broad-based discussions concerning emerging virtualization and cloud-based technologies. In addition to key speakers from Westcon Group and Cisco, a presentation will be delivered by virtualization and cloud industry luminary, Steve Kaplan — Vice President Data Center Virtualization, INX.
"Many companies today are faced with virtualization infrastructures that are just not moving forward as planned. These stalled efforts largely result from companies making the initial technology investment, but not following through to embrace virtualization as their IT standard," said Kaplan. "Key to re-starting these efforts is a broad-based training program that gets users more comfortable and experienced with highly integrated virtualization technologies. With this launch, Westcon Group is helping companies take a major leap forward in getting their stalled virtualization efforts moving."
In alignment with the LEAP Center first unveiled in Brussels, the US facility will also help resellers reduce time-to-revenue, while overcoming the challenges faced in virtualization and data center deployments: longer sales cycles, more complex technology evaluations and deeper investments. Resellers can set up and host their own data center demonstrations without incurring the additional expense of procuring dedicated data center network test environment. Each LEAP Center provides training on data center-related products and provides proof-of-concept evaluations utilizing competitive server solutions.
Resellers can schedule an appointment at the new LEAP Center by contacting their local Comstor or Westcon representative, or by visiting the LEAP Center site at www.westcongroup.com/leapcenter. For more information on the Summit and a list of speakers, please visit: http://us.onenetwork.comstor.com/content/events/comstor-ucs-summit-ii-and-leap-center-opening-10-20-10
About Westcon Group
Westcon Group, Inc. is the leading specialty distributor in data center, networking, security, mobility and convergence for the market's premier technology vendors, including Cisco, Avaya and Polycom. Through its Comstor, Westcon Security and Westcon Convergence business practices, Westcon Group sells products and services to resellers, systems integrators and service providers. Westcon Group has particular expertise in the convergence of voice, data and video applications and technologies including: voice-over-Internet-protocol (VoIP), security for networking and communications systems, remote access, Internet and e-business, virtual private networks, videoconferencing and wireless connectivity. For more information, visit www.westcongroup.com.
SOURCE: Westcon Group, Inc.