The deal, which marks Lucent’s first move into a two-tier channel strategy, will see Wick Hill supply the vendor’s full network and security portfolio including VPN products, bandwidth management and secure mobile data networking technology.
Ian Kilpatrick, chairman of the Wick Hill Group, said: “Voice over IP [VoIP] is under-secured and is a big area of threat. Firms are deploying it for either cost benefit or functional-ity benefit.”
Kilpatrick added that the distributor will also become an accredited train-ing centre for Lucent, and will help the vendor recruit channel partners.
“We are not looking for a huge number of resellers, because it’s quite a high-end product,” he said.
John Poole, business development manager at Lucent, said: “The UK is a very important market for us. We were looking for a distributor that had the right reach and expertise.”
Dave Ellis, director of e-security at distributor ComputerLinks (formerly Unipalm), which has a separate networking division, said the boundary between security and networking is becoming more blurred.
“There are obviously synergies between security and networking,” he said. “The skills are pretty transferable, so it makes sense for Wick Hill to do this.
“This kind of move is synonymous with the growing market. There are bound to be more people moving into the space.”
Grahame Smee, managing director of security distributor equIP, which announced its move into voice earlier this year (CRN, 27 February), said: “It’s a huge growth area. This is how the market is moving.”
Mukesh Gupta, managing director of e92plus, which made its first move in the convergence market recently (CRN, 5 June), said: “It’s a good move for Wick Hill. Resellers can make more revenue from existing customers by not only supplying security, but networking, VoIP and so on.”
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