Colombia seen as priority for Westcon's Latin America expansion

Monday, August 22, 2011

US value-added IT distributor Westcon Group is aiming to expand its portfolio to other Latin American countries, with a particular preference for Colombia, Westcon managing director for Latin America Hélio Guimarães told BNamericas.

"Our goal is to boost the solutions being offered in the most significant [Latin American] countries. We're also working to set up new services in other sizeable countries very soon. Colombia is a priority for us," he said.

The group already has staff working in countries like Peru, Colombia and Costa Rica. But an operational office will be launched in Colombia, and investments throughout the region will continue, he said, without disclosing numbers.

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Westcon started operations in Brazil 12 years ago and established a Mexico subsidiary in 2007. The two countries, the biggest markets in Latin America today, account for nearly 95% of the company's regional revenues. The company opened a Florida office at the beginning of the year to focus on the rest of Latin America. Guimarães previously said he sees other regional countries, including those in the Caribbean, eventually contributing up to 30% of revenues.

In Brazil, in turn, Westcon is focused on strengthening its portfolio through new agreements with manufacturers and distributors. Guimarães foresees new local partnerships being signed by year-end.

"We're working to enhance [our portfolio] with solutions that complement our current IT infrastructure, convergence and safeness offers," he said.


Like other IT companies, Westcon is placing its bets on the cloud. According to the managing director, demand for cloud computing services is due to increase, and Westcon is working to be up to speed in that scenario.

"We see our role [in the cloud services] on two fronts - first, as a supplier of solutions that build the cloud, and second, as a facilitator of transactions between service providers and point-of-sales, which will be very important to integrate different cloud services for the end customer."