Comstor picks up CDP status in sub-Saharan Africa

Cisco has cemented its relationship with global distribution giant Datatec in sub-Saharan Africa. Comstor — a recently formed division within Datatec subsidiary Westcon AME — has been appointed as the second Cisco Distribution Partner (CDP) for sub-Saharan Africa.

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By  Stuart Wilson Published  September 7, 2004

Cisco has cemented its relationship with global distribution giant Datatec in sub-Saharan Africa. Comstor — a recently formed division within Datatec subsidiary Westcon Africa Middle East (AME) — has been appointed as the second Cisco Distribution Partner (CDP) for sub-Saharan Africa. In April 2004, the Cisco division within Westcon AME was rebranded as Comstor. John Hurrell, chief executive of Westcon AME, said: “As African countries build new networks to bridge the digital divide, the continent becomes one of Cisco’s biggest growth areas. The distribution channel is key for Cisco as they look to drive this growth. With access to up to 4,000 resellers in this territory, the distribution channel is a vital part of their strategy. Comstor is very pleased to have been selected as a CDP for the territory and is proud to be a part of the channel.” CDP remains the highest distribution accreditation within Cisco’s partner programmes. The networking giant looks for multiple criteria in potential CDPs including ethical business conduct, financial health, logistics, channel coverage and reporting capabilities. Comstor will remain a direct distributor in South Africa and will serve sub-Saharan Africa from its Johannesburg base, including distribution centres in Kenya and Nigeria to cover both East and West Africa. Hurrell believes that Comstor Africa’s skills portfolio and access to US$80m of stock played an important role in Cisco’s decision. “We’re pretty much unrivalled on the continent in terms of the skills we provide as well as our ability to fulfill orders within days, rather than the more typical four to six weeks,” he added. George Atrash, channel manager for Cisco sub-Saharan Africa, added: “Comstor has been very successful with Cisco in the South African market. They are financially stable and have added a large amount of value to their reseller base. We believe that they can and will do the same in the sub-Saharan African territory. Comstor will bring to these territories many best practices from Comstor UK.” Cisco has also appointed several Cisco Authorised Distributors (CADs) for sub-Saharan Africa. CADs procure product from CDPs while resellers will now purchase Cisco kit direct from CADs in the regions of Africa where they have been appointed. Sparnoon, which previously had a long-standing relationship with Cisco as a sub-distributor, has now been appointed as a CAD and will continue to purchase from Comstor. Paul Moser, managing director at Sparnoon, said: “Without Comstor’s support and excellent service we would not have been able to achieve this status and success. We look forward to continuing, and indeed growing, our relationship with Comstor.”

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