Vendor Aventail has revised its sales strategy by naming Sphinx as its first ever distributor after switching from selling security services to appliances.
The US company, which previously provided secure remote access managed services, has now put its secure socket layer virtual private network (SSL VPN) technology onto a device.
To this end, its direct sales strategy has changed to a channel-based operation, said Tony Caine, vice-president Europe at Aventail.
"We have turned the technology from a managed service and put it on a piece of hardware," he said. "It's very much a channel-ready product."
Aventail, which supports secure access from PDAs and mobile phone devices from corporate wireless LANs or public wireless hotspots, has seven UK staff and will use Sphinx for first-level support, but will provide leads, training and marketing resources directly to VARs.
The company established its first European presence in the UK and is setting up businesses in Germany and France as it drives into the continent.
Caine said the vendor looked at the UK market and decided VARs were the way forward. "I decided it would be easier to set up a channel sales operation than a direct one," he said.
The company was keen to sign a distributor with security partners and experience in the market. "We are particularly interested in those that sell RSA products," said Caine. The firm wants 10 resellers in the UK.
Mark Hatton, managing director of Sphinx, said demand is rife for this type of technology to secure wireless business activities. He added that demand is also driven by mobile devices.
"We see wireless access as a major driver for SSL VPN," he said. "Firms want to secure their corporate wireless Lans, while roaming executives need secure-anywhere access to email and business applications from their laptops and PDAs."
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