Distributors for gateway appliance vendor, Secure Computing, will spend the next three months battling it out for a place on its renewed supplier panel.
The vendor has enlisted channel assistance organisation, Channel Enablers, to conduct an expressions of interest tender for distribution over the next three months.
It currently has three enterprise, or tier-one, distributors: itX, Blue Sky Technologies and WhiteGold. At an SMB level it works with TechPlus, MPA Systems, Bax IT, Coretech and ServerBits. Several of these were inherited through acquisition: Blue Sky was previously a distributor for CyberGuard, which Secure Computing purchased in January last year.
Late September, Secure Computing put its distributors on notice as part of a year-long review. While keen to keep the distinction between enterprise and SMB, country manager, Eric Krieger, said there were too many companies in the mix.
"There's too many and they can't add value," he said. "We won't necessarily drop one of our tier-ones, we could keep three. I personally think three in Australia is too much so it will have to be about their channel capabilities."
Criteria for tier-one distributors included a sound financial base, strong marketing thrust, a select band of key partner relationships, and a solid security practice.
"At a tier-one level we're not looking for broad-based distribution," Krieger said. "With SMBs, we have the dilemma of national and state-based distribution. So we'll be looking for responsiveness and an accent on security, as well as a broader base of resellers.
"We do want a certain degree of growth in the partner base as well although I am conscious of our limits."
Krieger said it expected to review all submissions of interest during Q3 and announce its new line-up by Q1 next year.
The shake-up followed a year of 35-40 per cent year-on-year growth across A/NZ, Krieger said. As a result, Secure Computing had appointed several new local staff, bringing its headcount to 35.
Former Dovetail general manager, Max Fredericks, and former itX systems engineer, Ignatius Gigis, recently joined its Sydney office.
The vendor will also open a Melbourne branch later this month. It will be manned by two staff including former MPA Systems engineer, Tim Pearce.
Over the next year, Krieger said the company would consider appointing a dedicated channel executive, and additional marketing and sales staff.