Check Point is threatening to serve some of its larger resellers direct if its distributors fail to justify their role in the supply chain.
The security software vendor confirmed it is facing growing calls from a handful of partners to cut distribution out of the loop, due to its perceived lack of value.
Nick Lowe, managing director of northern Europe at Check Point, said: “We need to consider the relationship between our larger partners and distribution. They are questioning the value that distribution can add and believe they have all the licensing and technical skills in-house.”
Clearswift last year adopted a mixed one- and two-tier channel model, while rival Websense slashed distributor margins on managed accounts. “We are also asking what value distribution brings to us as a route to market,” said Lowe.
“The bright ones will come up with a new value set to provide value-add to larger resellers and to our route-to-market model.”
One Check Point distributor, who wished to remain anonymous, is concerned that Check Point is trying to squeeze the channel. “Technology firms, as they mature, look at this as an option where they feel they can get more dollars by cutting out elements of the channel,” the source said. “But Check Point is a good supporter of the two-tier channel.”
Mukesh Gupta, managing director of security distributor e92plus, said: “All resellers want to deal with vendors direct. But what they seem to miss is that distributors offer credit protection and can offer a single point of contact for all technologies.”
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