F5 Networks is nearing the end of an EMEA distribution review that could potentially see it cut its UK distribution line-up from three to two.
In December, the application delivery vendor commenced a “distribution investment plan” designed to ensure it commands decent wallet share with each partner.
Specialist storage distributors may also be added in some countries where incumbents lack the skills to grow ARX, F5's file virtualisation offering.
Michael Schoenrock, director channel and alliances EMEA at F5, confirmed that UK trio Avnet, Computerlinks and Westcon are not immune from the process, which is set to come to a head next month. No decisions have currently been made, he stressed.
“In some other countries we have five or six distributors so we would rather start with them,” Schoenrock explained. “Having said that we are questioning whether we need three distributors here or whether two would be good enough.
"We want to get a good wallet share with [every distributor in EMEA] and in some cases we need to ensure a bit more focus."
Distributors have been asked to submit information on how they plan to invest both in countries where they have and do not have a relationship with F5, which recently posted a 15.5 per cent annual spike in fiscal first quarter sales.
Dean Darwin, vice president of worldwide channels at F5, said the process is also designed to raise their level of competence.
“The market is getting a lot more sophisticated with the paradigm shift to virtualisation and cloud and all we are doing is asking distributors to increase their competency,” he said.
The ARX platform is based on 2007 acquisition Acopia and Darwin said F5 is in talks with storage specialist distributors in more than one European territory.
“This is a very specialised solution,” he said. “Our traditional distributors tend to be in the networking or security space and may not have a storage practice, so we reserve the right to investigate the possibility of adding storage distributors.”
Laura Harman, Business Unit director at Avnet Technology Solutions, said: “F5 continue to innovate in the application delivery market. By extending their technological leadership into the storage space, Avnet will be able to leverage new channel relationships to deliver incremental business and growth.”
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