Security vendor SurfControl is weeks away from appointing its first full-time UK distributor, marking the end of months of speculation about its switch to a two-tier model.
The vendor, which already works with specialist security distributor e92plus on selected product lines in the UK, recently held its first Reseller Advisory Council (CRN, 5 June). It claimed it had narrowed down its selection to two distributors.
Harnish Patel, senior vice-president of EMEA at SurfControl, said: “We have done the beauty parade and now have a short list of two. We wanted to wait until after the reseller council before we made a final decision, but we will appoint a distributor by the end of June.”
Patel declined to name the distributors, but CRN understands it includes both a broadliner and a specialist distributor.
Mukesh Gupta, managing director of e92plus, said: “From our point of view, we are 100 per cent committed to SurfControl. We are still waiting to hear who will be appointed, but whatever happens, we still have our current contract.”
Patel said the two-tier switch was a major topic of discussion at its reseller council, as was its Enterprise Threat Suite, its anti-spyware products, its lead-generation programme and efforts to reduce competition between its direct and indirect sales teams through margin incentives.
Mark Dennis, managing director at VAR Evolve North, said SurfControl had changed its image.
“I have worked with SurfControl for the past six years,” he said. “I have seen it go through some pretty major changes in the past year.
“Its communication levels have stepped up considerably, and the Reseller Advisory Council is the first time it has engaged with resellers to receive feedback. The company has really grown up.”
Dennis added that he had “a mixed view” on SurfControl appointing a distributor.
“It depends on who it chooses and what it uses distribution for,” he said. “If it selects wisely, I’m sure it won’t be a problem for partners.”
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