Security distributor e92plus was dealt a double blow last week following the confirmation that its distribution contract with NetScreen will end and Lee Harrison, its business development director, is leaving.
As exclusively revealed by CRN last month, e92plus has been on the hunt for new vendors as potential replacements for NetScreen, which has been in the process of rethinking its distribution strategy.
The firm has also lost four members of staff in as many months. Harrison, the latest to leave, follows Richard Snape, Lee Mepstead and Kash Valgi. The last three have all joined rival Allasso.
NetScreen was unavailable for comment at the time of going to press, but Mukesh Gupta, managing director of e92plus, confirmed the split.
"Our distribution contract with NetScreen has been terminated by agreement from mid-March, leaving us free to pursue deals with other suppliers in that space," he said. Gupta added that the firm will increase its focus on vendors such as Enterasys and Trend Micro.
He said Harrison's departure was amicable. "Lee Harrison was with us for seven years, which is a very long time in this industry," Gupta added.
Harrison said he was leaving the distributor to pursue other interests.
"I had a tremendous time at e92plus, which has culminated in my departure to progress my career," he told CRN. Harrison added that he had been deeply involved in the original deal between e92plus and NetScreen.
Neil Ledger, co-founder of distributor equIP, said the move was inevitable after Allasso was signed up as NetScreen's fourth distributor. "It always said the maximum number of UK distributors was three. There was always going to be a casualty," he said.
But one channel source said e92plus's NetScreen business was big and that the vendor's departure "could compromise e92plus's position in the market".
Richard Snape has been appointed NetScreen director at Allasso. He said NetScreen is "a real focus" for Allasso.
Snape added: "I was brought on board to do this. I am looking for resellers that are new to NetScreen, not just to add existing NetScreen VARs to Allasso's partner base."
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