(The Hosting News) – Westcon Group, Inc. today announced it has unveiled the first of its global LEAP (Learn, Experience, Architect and Plan) Centers — dedicated “centers of excellence” for resellers to capitalize on data center opportunities related to next-generation technologies – including the Cisco Unified Computing System. The Brussels-based facility, which is hosting a grand opening today for customers and members of the media, is the first of several world-class facilities Westcon Group will be launching around the world. Next month, a LEAP Center will open in Denver, U.S.A., and other LEAP Centers will follow in Sydney, Australia and Singapore in the coming months.
LEAP Centers offer resellers a major competitive differentiator in their pursuit of data center opportunities and are engineered to replicate real-world scenarios faced in deploying virtualized servers with their customers. Resellers can test and experience a wide array of complementary solutions, such the Cisco Unified Computing System, storage offerings from NetApp, EMC, and virtualized applications from VMware, Microsoft, Oracle, SAP and other manufacturers. Resellers are able to access these capabilities both on-site and via remote access.
“Our global LEAP Center initiative is a strategic and significant investment on our part — better enabling partners to capture data center-related opportunities,” commented Dean Douglas, President and CEO, Westcon Group. “Last November, we set out to develop geographically dispersed, technologically advanced training facilities. The capabilities would go well beyond demonstrations, offering the opportunity to experience and work with truly integrated data center infrastructures. LEAP Centers are the fruition of this vision — bringing customers an undisputed advantage in the quickly evolving data center and virtualization market.”
Dominique Vanhamme, Director, Distribution Operations, Worldwide Partner Organisation, European Markets at Cisco, commented: “The new LEAP Center is an impressive example of how Westcon Group has successfully aligned its infrastructure with Cisco’s, bringing an advanced and very relevant training dimension to our Unified Computing System offering. We will continue to collaborate with Westcon Group as it continues to launch LEAP Centers in other parts of the world during the coming months and into 2011.”
LEAP Centers are supported by full-time, accredited staff; the innovative facilities were developed to provide:
• An ongoing showcase for industry-leading, networking, data center and virtualization technologies
• A facility that educates resellers and their end-user customers on recent data center and virtualization technologies
• A sophisticated lab environment for resellers to conduct testing and gain hands-on training with data center and virtualization solutions
• Onsite and remote access to component systems, products and solutions featured in the LEAP Center
• A destination briefing center for resellers to host customers for live demonstrations and tailored business case proposals
• The ability to review real world application benchmarks and proof-of-concept for server migrations and solution deployments
LEAP Centers help resellers reduce time-to-revenue, while overcoming the unique challenges faced in virtualization and data center deployments: longer sales cycles, more complex technology evaluations and deeper investments. By accessing the LEAP Center demo infrastructure, resellers are able to set up and host their own data center demonstrations without incurring the additional expense of procuring a dedicated data center network test environment. Each LEAP Center provides training on data center related products and provide 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. To view videos on the LEAP Center – or to read Westcon’s blog post on the launch – please visit the following: