Checkpoint Software has added network distributor Sphinx CST to its channel to support resellers in northern England and increase its presence in the SME market.
Jean Coughlin, financial director of reseller Traderman Systems, said: "We have lots of SME clients, and the first thing they usually ask us about is the security of their networks."
Checkpoint has traditionally targeted large corporate businesses, but the Sphinx deal indicates its desire to focus on smaller firms.
Mark Hatton, managing director of Sphinx, said: "There is large demand from our SME reseller partners for security products that work with RSA and Cisco equipment, and for Checkpoint's products in particular because it is a market leader for firewalls."
Sandra Baccari Edler, senior research analyst at IDC's European service research group, said: "Securing ebusiness has become a top priority for many businesses. SMEs represent a sizable business opportunity for resellers."
Tariq Ahmed, Northern European product manager at Checkpoint, said: "We are now developing products for the SME market, and Sphinx will help us."
Ahmed explained that a stronger presence in the North was another reason for choosing Sphinx as its third distributor, in addition to Unipalm and Alasso.
"We have always had a strong presence in the Midlands, but we wanted to move north. The market has demanded that we appoint Sphinx. This is essential to introduce us to new accounts," he said.
"We are one company that can hold its hands up and say all our business goes through the channel. We sold 186,000 firewalls last year, and not one of them was sold direct."
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