Arrow and Computerlinks' biggest mutual vendors are adopting a wait-and-see stance over the duo's merger, with Check Point, RSA, Blue Coat and Trend Micro all talking up the positives that may stem from working with an enlarged force in the UK security channel.
Arrow formed an integration team that will look at how the two distributors come together after closing its €230m (£191m) acquisition of Computerlinks at the end of October.
Keeping mutual vendors on side will be a key priority and it appears that – at least publicly – any of the top security manufacturers are supportive of the merger despite the dominance the combined outfit will enjoy in the UK market.
One vendor that has already made up its mind to stick with the status quo is Check Point, which sources believe may rely on the combined Arrow-Computerlinks vehicle for up to 75 per cent of its UK revenue, with the remainder travelling through Wick Hill and Westcon.
Check Point UK managing director Keith Bird (pictured) said: "This leave us with three distributors but fortunately we think they are three of the best distributors in the UK. For the size of business we have, three is still a good number so we are not going to make any changes to our UK distributors in the near future.
"The mix you refer to is obviously a question people have asked but at the end of the day the market chooses where it wants to source product."
The deal leaves RSA with just one UK distributor but EMEA channel sales director Steve Wheeler said he was "quite happy with what I've heard and seen so far", despite market whispers the authentication vendor has already put feelers out to potential new allies.
"The devil is going to be in the detail – and we need to see how things look going forward – but in the short- to mid-term we have no plans to look at an alternative distributor," he said. "We are coming up to our financial year-end and that takes the focus."
Meanwhile, James Munroe, UK sales manager at Trend Micro, which has also been left with just one enterprise distributor as a result of the merger, said his firm is taking a "wait-and-see" approach to proceedings.
"Both have their strengths so hopefully they will come together and move things forward for us," he said. "The fact that Arrow has that VMware piece, which we work very closely with, should be really good for us."
Pat Dunne, senior channel director of EMEA at Blue Coat – another mutual partner of the two distributors – is also taking a watching brief.
"We hope they are going to continue along the Computerlinks line of offering good service and support. It does seem from everything I am hearing that that is the way it's heading," he said.
However, Niall McGrane, UK general manager at Westcon Security, suspected many vendors are waiting for further news on how the integration will proceed before they reach any firm decisions.
"There are some smaller vendors who are currently examining the situation and are looking at their routes to market and whether they will get the focus they need to achieve their objectives," he said.
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