Symantec will tomorrow fire out request for proposals (RFPs) to between eight and 10 UK distributors as it looks to slash its security VAD line-up across Europe.
The vendor currently works with five security VADs in the UK, but sources indicated this may be cut to three at most upon the conclusion of the beauty contest in late February.
Incumbents Avnet, Arrow ECS, SDG, Codework and Cohort will all receive RFPs, alongside Computer 2000/Azlan and Ingram Micro, which currently act as SMB specialists for Symantec.
Between one and three other distributors will also be given a shot, with proposals required to be submitted by 21 January. A second, shortlist phase will take place throughout February.
Ross Walker, director of distribution and SMB for UK and Ireland at Symantec, said the process was designed to replicate its recent move to a competency-based reseller programme. It also comes on the heels of three enterprise security acquisitions – PGP, VeriSign and GuardianEdge, he added.
“We are looking to rationalise the distributors that can sell our enterprise security portfolio and have fewer, more dedicated VADs,” he said.
Jamie Farrelly, EMEA value distribution manager at Symantec, said successful VADs would enjoy rebates of over 20 per cent on some deals, following the conclusion of the tender.
“This is a massive increase on today,” he said. “We are asking them to invest much more heavily and for that investment we will put the potential rewards to a much higher level.”
Divyesh Lakhani, managing director of Codework, said: “Symantec is asking its distributors to invest in, rather than to pick up, the easy business, and this needed to be done. Codework is exactly the type of distributor that is likely to benefit, so we expect to be a favourite."
Symantec’s SMB and availability distribution line-up will not be affected by the process, which is occurring simultaneously across 13 countries and involves more than 50 distributors across the region.
Several sources said they expect Symantec to emerge from the process with just three – or even two – security VADs in the UK. This would replicate recent rationalisation programmes at a number of other big security vendors, including arch-rival McAfee last summer and Websense this time last year.
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