A trio of former Sphinx executives are aiming to take the UK channel by storm with their new security VAD, Kite Distribution.
Co-led by former Sphinx managing director Mark Hatton, Kite launches today with six vendors in the shape of Infoblox, BackBox, Bloxx, Cryoserver, Firemon and Spikes Security.
"The objective is to make Kite a major player in UK distribution," said Hatton (pictured), who was managing director of Sphinx when the £55m-revenue UK security distributor sold up to global player Arrow in 2010.
"I will view this as a complete failure if in two to three years' time we are not seen as one of the main players in the UK marketplace. I think the vendors that have committed to work with us demonstrate we are serious about that."
Leicester-based Kite is owned by Hatton and two former Sphinx colleagues – Dave Marshall and Kip Tumber (pictured below) – who recently left Arrow.
Hatton said the proceeds of the Sphinx sale mean Kite will have deep pockets.
"I was very fortunate when Arrow acquired Sphinx in terms of what came of that so we have been able to fund the business very well," he explained.
"You don't get credit lines from the top vendors unless it's well funded."
Recent consolidation had left many vendors with a "genuine lack of choice outside the worldwide distribution players", said Hatton, who was released from his restrictive covenants with Arrow more than a year ago.
Focusing on the security, networking and data management markets, Kite will operate an "old school" distribution model with field sales guys on the road working with partners to generate business, he explained.
"All of us have a background in Sphinx, so we understand the proper VAD model, which boils down to helping partners and vendors grow their business. We have all done it before," he said.
Kite currently has seven staff, with another three set to come on board over the summer.
Cris Pikes, chief executive of security integrator Sysec, welcomed Kite's launch but urged the distributor to focus on leading-edge technology.
"The threat landscape is changing and it is getting more and more difficult to defend against APTs so they'll need to have their finger on the pulse," he said.
Grahame Smee, managing director of distributor Exertis VAD Solutions, said: "Mark is a good guy and has a history of success. I wish him all the best."
Ian Kilpatrick, chairman of Wick Hill, said: "It's nice to see Mark back, what with consolidation and market growth there are certainly numerous opportunities and he has many years' experience in this area."
Ruby Khaira, regional head for UK, Northern Europe, Middle East and India at Firemon, said the firewall management vendor had signed with Kite because, before its launch, "there didn't seem to be any focused distributor solely looking at expanding security products into the UK".
Security firm set to become part of acquisitive Shearwater Group
Distributor merges three northern sites into one new hub in Warrington
Activist investor puts forward five director candidates as turmoil continues at security giant
Nima Green asks what is driving public cloud uptake in Germany