Security distributor Securedis has issued an apology to its suppliers after hitting the wall after just 18 months in business.
The firm ceased trading on 31 December and shut down its website at the end of March after attempts to find a buyer or agree an emergency recovery plan with its creditors failed.
Specialising in security software, Securedis was founded in August 2010 and counted AlertBoot, Devicelock, G Data and SpectorSoft as its key vendor franchises. In its infancy, it received backing from VADition founders Ian Morris and Neil Ledger.
Founder Andi Robinson admitted this quartet of suppliers – alongside HMRC – had been left with significant debts but said he is doing everything in his power to cushion the blow for those affected.
He told ChannelWeb: "I am continuing to pay [Securedis technical director] John Hughes personally to work with suppliers to ensure customers are not left in the lurch."
"We are not hiding from this and are willing to take on the chin any issues suppliers have. Nobody likes to fail and Securedis was given plenty of opportunities to succeed. We apologise to those who have unduly suffered as a result of poor performance."
An insolvency practitioner is currently examining Securedis' books to determine if there are sufficient funds to perform a formal administration. If not, a creditor will be required to wind up the business to avoid it "just wobbling around" until it is struck off Companies House and dissolved, Robinson said.
In the event that an administrator is appointed, it is unlikely there will be any distribution of funds to creditors, he added.
According to figures from credit reference agency Graydon, the quarterly rate of UK channel insolvencies is currently at a nine-year high.
Robinson said Securedis had been floored by a combination of not having any A-brand vendors on board, a couple of large debtors and personal circumstances.
"2010 was a difficult year for a start-up and 2011 did not see any economic turnaround," he said. "Securedis had centred its portfolio on software solutions with primarily a cloud focus but none of the vendors were well known in the UK and suffice to say the battle was always uphill.
"In hindsight, not having a commodity brand on board made access to partners more difficult as a tough economy leads people to stay within their comfort zone."
SpectorSoft appointed Securedis as its sole UK distributor early last year but poor volumes prompted it to take on a second ally in Prianto, said SpectorSoft EMEA director Paul Down.
"While SpectorSoft witnessed significant double-digit growth across our major markets in EMEA, Securedis' business was faltering, which is why we brought in Prianto to reduce risk and continue to service the UK market," Down explained.
Yuri Pasea, managing director of Prianto, said: "It is always sad to see a fellow distributor go down. Securedis had a good business model, focused around a small set of products in the same way we do, it could just be that they did not have the right products."
Kay Bruen, founder of channel consultancy Clipsham IT (pictured), said: "You cannot survive as a distributor on only B-brand vendors. You have to have a mix. The more commoditised vendors give you that run rate to support your business development efforts on new vendors, as these will take nine to 18 months to gain traction."
Ian Kilpatrick, chairman of security distributor Wick Hill, agreed: "There is a lot of heavy lifting involved around security products," he said. "You need some good vendors and a good position in the market and a lot of resource."
Robinson said he owed a debt of gratitude to Morris and Ledger - who sold their distributor VADition to Exclusive Networks last summer - "without whose support and guidance the company would have collapsed some 12 months prior".
"Current plans for the ex-management team are still being developed but suffice to say plans are afoot to make a comeback in the very near future," Robinson added.
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