Security vendor St Bernard Software has hit back at claims that it has withdrawn from the European market, insisting that its channel strategy in the region is stronger than ever.
In a conversation with CRN earlier this month, the channel manager of rival vendor Bloxx said St Bernard had moved out of Europe leaving a gap for a locally-based vendor (CRN, 1 September), a statement St Bernard vehemently denies.
Ed Hubler, director of international sales at St Bernard, admitted the firm had closed its company owned operations based in the UK and the Netherlands, but said the vendor is still committed to the region.
“Our partners and I can say first hand that St Bernard did not retreat from Europe,” he said. “At the end of 2007 we decided to change our model in Europe because it did not seem to be working, so instead we adopted a two-tier sales model that has proved successful in Asia Pacific and South America.”
“Once the decision was made, we began partnering with VADs across EMEA who can sell and service our resellers. We believed this structure would enable greater sales support and local expertise more closely tuned to the needs of our customers.”
Hubler said the firm has signed up two distributors in the UK – CM Systems Support and AppSpeed, to act as a point of contact for St Bernard in the region.
“We have been working with both CM Systems and AppSpeed to ensure a smooth transition and encourage our partners to work with and support them in their new role,” he said.
He added that the vendor regularly visits the UK to ensure all its partners are up to speed with training and accreditation needs.
Ronald Hulme, managing director of CM Systems, said: “We have for the past nine months, concentrated on retaining St Bernard’s business in the UK and are now looking at additional reseller recruitment. Far from abandoning the UK, St Bernard has done the opposite.“Resellers notice absolutely no difference in the service they receive from St Bernard apart from the fact that the contact telephone number has changed.”
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