WatchGuard is moving from three to two UK distributors, with Ingram Micro being shown the door, CRN has learned.
According to the channel rumour mill, Ingram was served notice near the beginning of June, leaving the security vendor with two distributors in the shape of Wick Hill and Northamber.
WatchGuard will also continue to work with Micro Warehouse in Ireland.
The move appears to be part of a wider distribution rationalisation process led by new global channel boss Alex Thurber. It also comes ahead of the imminent launch of the vendor's new WatchGuard One partner programme.
In a statement sent to CRN, Jon-Marc Wilkinson, distribution manager for WatchGuard, UK and Ireland, confirmed the duo are winding up their 12-year relationship but refused to go into more detail.
"WatchGuard and Ingram Micro have had a productive, long-standing relationship but we made the decision to maximise our resources behind three distributors across the UK and Ireland," Wilkinson said.
"I believe this change will ultimately benefit our channel, especially when combined with our forthcoming value-driven partner programme."
A distribution shake-up was always on the cards following the arrival of Thurber, who led a similar streamlining programme at previous firm McAfee.
Speaking to CRN in April, Thurber hinted that WatchGuard will focus more effort on fewer partners, including in the distribution space.
"I always believe in doing more with fewer partners," he said at the time. "In the US, we have reduced the number of distributors. We had five and now we're down to four, and we may continue to reduce that. We want to get to the level where we are relevant to the distributor."
Alex Phillips, director of strategy at Northamber, said the distributor had invested heavily in its security team, including hiring Adam King from WatchGuard itself.
"Yesterday was our 12-year anniversary with WatchGuard and Northamber are delighted to be reinforcing our ties with WatchGuard and are looking forward to further developing this exciting opportunity together," said Phillips.
Talking about WatchGuard One in April, Thurber (pictured) said the programme will enable committed partners to retain more margin.
"The general idea is that we are moving away from a volume- and to a value-based, investment-based programme," he said. "I'm a huge believer in the more a partner wants to invest in us, the more we should invest back in them."
Ian Kilpatrick, chairman of Wick Hill, said: "WatchGuard is actively looking to push harder into the channel and the new channel programme will move them up a tier in terms of how they certify partners."
Ingram was not able to comment at the time of going to press.
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