Takeover talks at bullish security vendor SurfControl are continuing, although the firm has claimed it still has its eye on the ball.
Speaking to CRN before the Infosecurity show, chief executive Patricia Sueltz said she was unable to comment further on the ‘unsolicited approach’ for the company, which was first revealed in a statement to the UK Stock Exchange on 7 December.
However, she said: “We were required to make the announcement to the Stock Exchange because it meant ensuring a level playing field and in our most recent trading update we said the talks were continuing.”
Takeover aside, she said the channel was critical for SurfControl, as reflected in its recent decision to push its BlackSpider managed services through distribution (SurfControl managed services switch to distribution).
Sueltz admitted that SurfControl had made mistakes with its channel, but said that since her appointment in 2005, the vendor has been steadily pushing more of its business indirect.
“Four years ago we did not give the channel as good a service as we might have done,” she said. “However, that’s the commitment we have made in the past 18-months – to drive 79 per cent of our business through the channel.”
Sueltz said the firm still has some customers that prefer to deal direct, but about 86 per cent of all new business is coming through the channel.
The company has gone through a number of changes under Sueltz’s leadership.
“We had to do massive restructuring because we had a lot of people focused on direct sales. It was a rebalancing of skills and the UK team was strengthened as a result,” she said.
Andrew Beaumont, divisional director, security at DNS Arrow, SurfControl’s sole UK distributor, said: “SurfControl it is one of our focus vendors. We are very happy with the changes it has made to its model, and are pleased with the level of engagement we are seeing.”
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