Specialism: Networking, unified comms and security
Key vendors: Palo Alto Networks, Cisco, F5, Check Point, Zscaler, CrowdStrike, Extreme, Avaya, Juniper, Proofpoint, Ruckus, Firemon
UK revenue: £460m (+8%)
UK headcount: 300+
The UK arm of this Cisco, Avaya and cybersecurity distributor is currently experiencing “strong double-digit growth”, its local MD John Nolan tells us (see below).
After hiking 8% to $580m (£460m) in its year to 28 February 2023, UK revenues are on course to power up 12% to $650m (£515m) in its fiscal 2024.
Part of South African IT group Datatec, Westcon Comstor saw total revenues hike 18% to $3.42bn in its last financial year.
“We are winning every day, which is resulting in strong double-digit growth”
Quickfire Q&A with UK&I MD John Nolan (pictured, top)
What’s an obscure fact about Westcon Comstor, or you personally, most people won’t know?
91% of our employees say they would advise a friend to apply for a job at Westcon-Comstor. We are a people business and this drives the great success we are seeing in the market today. In terms of myself, I am sport mad which makes me super competitive and has led me to run over 12 marathons in recent years. I like to win (even if just a 5-a-side match).
Just how tough is it in the market right now?
It’s not, if you deliver what you promise. We are winning and growing partners/vendors every day, which is resulting in strong double-digit growth.
What bright spots are you seeing?
New disruptive security vendors in all verticals are really driving growth in addition to the strategic vendors we work with today. Supply chain constraints are easing fast which is also helping. In addition, we are seeing public sector pipeline pick up.
What’s been your high point of the last 12 months?
We are seeing really positive growth, however, we have been recognised with many industry and vendor awards, which is testament to the great team we have today.
Name one thing Westcon Comstor does better than anyone else…
We build solid plans with our vendors and partners aligning to everyone’s objectives, helping us win daily. Using data to drive distribution-led business is an area we excel in and so important to developing a successful business for the future.
What’s been the biggest development or news story in UK IT distribution so far in 2023?
We faced a few challenging months in 2023 for the many reasons we all know, however, the UK IT channel has continued to grow and buck the trends as always. The emergence of the hyperscalers is one to watch and one we see as a big opportunity.
Which technology area or vendor are you betting big on for H2 2023?
Cybersecurity and networking is going to continue be the growth engine for us in H2. We have some real big bets which will help our continued channel growth.
The analysts see distribution becoming increasingly characterised by cloud and marketplaces. Is that reflected in the evolution of your own business?
Absolutely, and this resulted in us launching our very own marketplace in Partner Central over the past six months. We are a cloud channel aggregator with over 75% of our revenues now software, support and recurring revenues.
Can you give us a prediction on how the distribution sector will evolve over the next 12 months?
The market is evolving at the quickest rate I have known for 20 years, with the emergence of technologies like A1 + the ever increasing cyber threats. Distribution will have a big part to play for both our vendors and partners helping them create new opportunity.