Cloud Distribution has hired former Expand, Meraki and Exinda director Adam Davison to spearhead the VAD's hunt for more start-up vendors.
Davison (pictured) has been charged with bringing on four disruptive security and networking vendors over the next year for the distributor, which already works with Vyatta, Peplink and Meraki – a wireless LAN vendor which sold up to Cisco for $1.2bn (£755m) in November.
Founded in 2009 by Scott Dobson and Greg Harris, Cloud claims it quintupled sales last year and recently hired two other heads: northern sales manager Tracey Hannan and technical manager James Ball.
Davison, who has quit his role at Exinda to become Cloud's director of products, accused the UK's established VADs of being "full".
"From a vendor perspective, I think there is a real need for an evangelistic, next-generation, innovative distributor to help them create a market from scratch," he said.
"That is exactly what Cloud is. Take Meraki – we had that product before it had any presence in the UK and evangelised it. I want to recreate that for a number of other vendor start-ups trying to get into the UK."
To support this, Cloud will launch a range of vendor and reseller "launchpacks" designed to seed the market for vendors without any local employees or marketing presence. These will include marketing support, enhanced maintenance packages and site surveys.
A "zero-cost" pipeline development platform will also be available, where leads are paid for only at the back end, once a sale has been made.
The past couple of years has seen the emergence of several start-up VADs including virtualisation specialist Prianto and – most recently – comms distributor Pragma and security specialist Heatherside.
Davison said he saw these outfits as a validation of, rather than a threat to, Cloud's strategy.
"There is a real need for a new VAD on the block for networking and security products, or otherwise people would not be looking to do these things," he said.
"I think we are one of the best placed to do that right now because we are established and are already trading with a significant number of MSPs and VARs. The others have to get themselves off the ground before they can go to market aggressively."
Yuri Pasea, managing director of self-styled 'knowledge distributor' Prianto, agreed that most larger distributors are no longer willing to bring new vendors to market.
"I welcome Cloud Distribution's continued push into the market although I would say their model is more akin to that of a knowledge distributor than one of a VAD," he said.
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