Security software vendor F-Secure has reversed its decision to run a single-tier channel after less than a year, admitting that it has struggled to build a strong channel.
The vendor parted company with distributors Allasso and Unipalm last year after announcing that it would sell directly to resellers.
Matt Piercy, who replaced Jason Holloway as UK country manager at F-Secure this month, told CRN that he has made the shift to a two-tier channel his priority. Holloway is to become Netilla Networks' UK country manager next month, according to industry sources.
Piercy, who was formerly distribution manager at Citrix in the UK, said: "Hindsight is a wonderful thing, but moving to a single tier was not the right thing for F-Secure."
He said the firm is in negotiations with a few distributors and will announce a new partner in May. "These do not include Unipalm or Allasso," he added.
Piercy said the firm will use its new distributor to forge better relationships with resellers.
"We have a good product but we do not have a good channel. I don't think we have strong relationships with our existing resellers," he said.
David Ellis, director of e-security at Unipalm, said the distributor had decided to end its relationship with F-Secure following the vendor's offer to resellers to buy direct.
"Distribution is very important in the security industry and running a mixed (direct and distribution) model was a mistake," he said. "This is a positive move but F-Secure has to identify where it positions its product."
Bernie Dodwell, business development director at security distributor Wick Hill, who was at Allasso when it split with F-Secure, said the vendor's products fit broadline distribution.
"It will be difficult to sign a specialist distributor because there is no added value in selling anti-virus products alone," he said. "Many vendors include anti-virus in their products."
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