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Comstor Inks Exclusive Distribution Agreement With Collab9 for Cisco Powered, Government-Compliant Hosted Collaboration

Deal Brings One of Market's Only FedRAMP and FISMA-Certified, Cloud-Based Solutions to Public Sector

TARRYTOWN, N.Y., March 13, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Westcon Group, a value-added distributor of category-leading unified communications, network infrastructure, data center, and security solutions with a global network of specialty resellers, today announced that its Comstor business unit has signed an exclusive, multi-year distribution agreement with collab9.  The deal brings FedRAMP and FISMA-certified, Cisco® Hosted Collaboration Solutions (HCS) to public sector reseller partners and their customers across the US. 

Some analysts estimate the federal government invests more than $80 billion annually on IT products and services.  Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP) and Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA) qualifications are often considered basic requirements for any solution sold into the sector.  While typically a lengthy process, collab9 is expected to secure these certifications this summer.

"Collab9 is an essential component to our cloud strategy because they are so focused on the channel – with an offering that enables VARs to put the power of the cloud to work in growing their business," said Geoff Fancher, Senior Vice President, Comstor US.  "This solution combines world-class collaboration technologies from a certified Cisco Managed Service Provider – all backed by the power of Cisco's channel. Comstor is proud to partner with Cisco and collab9 to lower the barrier-to-entry for partners with an immediate need to offer a solution meeting the growing demand for collaboration services in a cloud-based consumption model."

The Cisco Powered™, collab9 HCS offering encompasses voice, mobility, messaging, contact center, video, and presence/instant messaging in a unified platform.  The technology can integrate applications such as WebEx®, Cisco TelePresence®, IP paging, and call recording.  An FCC-registered telecommunications provider, collab9 delivers local, long distance, and international dialing services – as well as data connectivity and SIP-based trunking. Public sector customers benefit from rapid deployment and on-going upgrades of modern, 21st century collaboration tools designed to enhance productivity and support communication workflows.

Under terms of the agreement, the VAR fully owns each customer contract – performing on-site services and selling required on-premise equipment, such as phones and infrastructure --  purchased by the VAR through Comstor. Collab9 then hosts and operates all technology in the datacenter.

"Comstor specifically selected us as a valued cloud partner because we're 100 percent channel-centric, and well on our way to obtaining these key accreditations," said collab9 Chief Executive Officer Kevin Schatzle.  "The technology provides both large and small resellers with a unique opportunity to reap benefits from recurring revenue, account control, and existing professional services – without massive investments to support a federally-certified Cisco voice and collaboration offering."

FedRAMP and FISMA often require significant investment and rigorous testing processes to meet high standards, ensuring contractors offer safe and secure cloud services.  Collab9's fully redundant, Cisco Powered reference architecture is designed to exceed these benchmarks – housed in dual-active Tier-3 data centers in Chicago and Los Angeles.  It is also fully compatible with the newest versions of Cisco's Unified Communications applications.

"Moving IT operations to the cloud is a high priority for every federal agency.  And starting in June, these customers are mandated to purchase only FedRAMP accredited services," added Steve McCummings, Business Development Manager of Cloud Solutions, Cisco Public Sector.  "The collab9 FedRAMP FISMA portfolio brings together our long-standing commitment to the channel, Cisco's global leadership in voice and collaboration – as well as the belief that cloud is a highly viable consumption model for the public sector.  We look forward to working with both Comstor and collab9 to further extend this exciting partnership."

For more information on the collab9 offering from Comstor, please visit us.comstor.com.  To learn more about Westcon Group or Comstor, "Like" the Facebook page or track our LinkedIn page.

About Westcon Group
Westcon Group, Inc. is a value added distributor of category-leading unified communications, network infrastructure, data center, and security solutions with a global network of specialty resellers. Westcon's teams create unique programs and provide exceptional support to accelerate the business of its global partners. Strong relationships at every level of the Westcon Group organization enable partners to receive support tailored to their needs. From global logistics and flexible customized financing solutions to pre-sales, technical and engineering assistance, the company works with partners to respond with agility and speed to changing market conditions so they can achieve the fastest time to revenue. Westcon Group's portfolio of market-leading vendors includes: Cisco, Avaya, Brocade, Polycom, Check Point, and Blue Coat. For more information, please visit www.westcongroup.com.

Media Contact:
Craig Librett
Westcon Group
(914) 357-1747
craig.librett@westcon.com

SOURCE Westcon Group

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