Security distributor Sphinx is planning to expand into the networking market and is looking out for possible acquisitions in Europe.
Mark Hatton, managing director of Sphinx, told CRN that acquisition opportunities in the UK are "somewhat limited".
"We are looking at the market to check out our options. It might be acquisition or we might start from scratch," he said.
"We have been chatting with our vendors and they fully support our growth into Europe. It's now about deciding how to go into Europe, and which approach is more appropriate for which territory.
"We are looking at getting into networking, but not back into the Cisco camp. We will look more at where security and networking overlap. We aren't looking to get into the low-end routing market."
Sphinx, which previously sold its Cisco unit to Ingram, gained access to high-end networking vendor Juniper's product set after Juniper acquired NetScreen, with which Sphinx already had a distribution agreement.
Hatton said there is no commercially pressing reason to rush into buying or opening European offices, but added that he is hoping to do so in early 2005.
David Hobson, managing director of security distributor Ellipse, said security and networking are growing ever closer.
"All the major [networking] players are trying to get security into their play. Cisco, for example, is adding security functions, and in contrast Check Point, with its acquisition of Zone Labs, is looking to put desktop clients out so it owns the whole thing, end to end.
"You have to know networking to know security properly, but there is less margin in networking," he said.
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