Distributor Westcon is attempting to create a tie-up between both its networking and security vendors in the belief that niche security VARs and distributors will eventually die out.
According to Bernie Dodwell, vendor manager at Westcon, the distributor will not be selling single, stand-alone security devices for much longer. “Our medium-term strategy is that Westcon will not try to sell security for security’s sake. It will only come as part of an overall offering, for example as part of a voice or networking solution,” he said.
Dodwell said the firm is launching a support and consultancy bundle around four of its vendors: Avaya, Packeteer, Check Point and Extreme. “This isn’t a product bundle, it is about real business development. We are trying to help our resellers grow their business by offering them the chance to expand their portfolio with our, and the vendors’, help,” he said.
Dodwell said the four chosen vendors already have some kind of strategic or technological alliance between them.
“Resellers will find that their customers are asking for this. It will become a competitive imperative for them. In our market everything must come secure, therefore we want to try and add more Check Point to more Extreme, Avaya and Packeteer, and vice versa,” he said.
Dodwell believes that with so much security becoming built into products and applications, the need for security distributors and VARs will die out. “The days of the security channel players are numbered.”
However, Ian Kilpatrick, chairman of security distributor Wick Hill, said: “There is so much new technology that needs stand-alone security. If the technology has been around for a while, then yes, it will be built-in, but it is still more a case of security being bundled together, not bundled with another technology.”
Tony Davis, managing director at Elcom, said: “Which part of the IT market is now truly niche? If your business has the skills, appropriate accreditations and customer base, you will sell and support security products. But ultimately all companies supplying the IT market, be they large or small, must have more than one iron in the fire.”
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