Sophos is billing itself as a one-stop-security-shop for resellers targeting smaller firms, following its purchase of Astaro.
Talking to CRN, Sophos' UK and Ireland director Ciaran Rafferty, urged partners to exploit Sophos' enlarged portfolio in the wake of the deal.
"No other vendor has endpoint, mobile, data protection plus a network layer together," he said.
"The main aim of the acquisition is to be that one-stop for the security of companies with below 5,000 employees."
Rafferty said that Astaro would be run as a separate business unit for at least a year, while its channel programme will also be maintained in the short-to-mid term.
However, product integration plans are already underway, he said.
"In the next three months we will put our AV engine into the Astaro product," said Rafferty. "Within a year we will deliver the first coordinated endpoint, network and web filtering protection solution."
Astaro, which is the world's fourth-largest UTM vendor according to IDC, has about 2,500 channel partners globally and works through distributors Exclusive Networks and Northamber in the UK.
Sophos operates a single-tier channel model in the UK.
Chris Walsh, sales director at Exclusive Networks, said he understood there would be no change in Astaro's channel strategy for 2011.
"We have a funded head for Astaro and that will continue for the whole of this year," he said.
"Astaro's technology is a typical example of good German engineering. Sophos has recognised this and there is a massive opportunity for some of those partners that have maybe seen it as a lesser-known UTM vendor to get involved, now it has a well-known brand behind it."
Paul Prior, managing director of Sophos partner Foursys, hailed the acquisition as positive news for both sets of resellers.
"The Astaro acquisition is at least as important to the Sophos partner channel as the Utimaco acquisition two years ago that brought in the SafeGuard data protection/encryption products," he said. "Foursys has supplied over £400,000 of new business in our first full year supplying SafeGuard solutions to the UK market. We think the same added value approach will work with Astaro products."
Robert Cavan, managing director or Sophos partner RMS IT Security, said: "Sophos's acquisition of Astaro will bring some great network security technology into their already strong proposition."
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