McAfee has concluded its UK distribution beauty contest, handing contracts to US-based trio Ingram Micro, Computer 2000 (C2000) and Arrow ECS.
The vendor issued a call to tender to nine distributors in January, claiming its current strategy lacked clarity.
Ingram Micro and C2000 were both part of the previous setup, while Arrow ECS recently bought another of the line-up, Sphinx.
Having come on board in 2007 via McAfee's acquisition of Safeboot, Arc Technology was the only one of the incumbent quartet to lose out.
Jill Henry, UK and Ireland channel director at McAfee, said the decision was ratified at a worldwide channel board meeting last week and that distributors were informed on Monday.
“It was an incredibly tough process as there has been huge consolidation in the market," she said. "Every one of the distributors came with sophisticated proposals and we were pleased with the quality of the responses. [The winners] used incumbency to their advantage.”
Henry stressed the trio would play very different roles, with Ingram Micro acting as an SME specialist, C2000 as an “enterprise broadliner” and Arrow ECS as a VAD.
Initially, Ingram and C2000 will have access to everything outside of the Secure Computing portfolio, which Arrow ECS will sell exclusively. However, Arrow will not have access to the wider product set. That may change next year though, Henry said.
Ingram will play a pivotal role in covering McAfee’s roughly 1,000 unmanaged accounts that transact less than $10,000 a year, said Henry.
“We have over 1,100 trading resellers in the UK,” she explained. “We manage relationships with the top 30 and have got nearshore channel account managers in Cork to handle the next 100. So we have a huge partner tail and need to rely on distributors to hold that dialogue on our behalf.
“Ingram did a good job of putting forward programmes that address those partners.”
In addition, McAfee will maintain its UK relationship with distributor Computerlinks as part of its global agreement with BT.
Stuart Reay, UK managing director of Arc Technology, said he respected McAfee's decision..
“Our partnerships in the security industry are testament to the strength of the business and although the McAfee brand has been good for Arc, we are not a one-trick pony."
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