Distributor Infinigate is on a mission to build brand awareness for GFI Software in the channel after winning UK distribution rights with the network security and management vendor.
Having previously sold mainly direct to its 800 UK resellers, GFI is today moving to a two-tier channel model with Infinigate and is advising all of its partners to buy from its new ally.
Its relationship with distributor Sigma Software, which transacted about 20 per cent of UK sales, will officially continue until June but is being wound down.
Talking to CRN, Infinigate UK joint managing director Murray Pearce said GFI's strong brand awareness at an end-user level has not previously been matched in the channel, which he signalled Infinigate will address as a priority.
Infinigate has created a five-strong team to focus on GFI's products, which are designed for firms with up to 3,000 seats and cover areas such as network management, email and web security, fax management, patch management and SIEM, Pearce said.
"GFI has a good reputation and a lot of brand awareness at an end-user level, so gets a lot of pull through, but it doesn't have a high enough profile with many of the resellers," he said.
"Our job is to take the partners that have been doing bits of business with GFI and make them more proactive. We need to figure out which ones want to invest in GFI."
Moving to a two-tier model in the UK is part of a wider go-to-market investment GFI is making following a change of ownership and appointment of a new CEO last summer, Pearce said.
Pearce (pictured) claimed reseller margins and support levels would not suffer as a result of Infinigate being added as an extra rung in GFI's channel.
"All the same people the resellers have worked with will still be at GFI and they can continue that relationship if they want to," he said. "We are expanding the footprint for GFI and adding resources for them - we will have a team of five from the start.
"The other major concern resellers often have is around discounts and margins but none of that is changing because the contribution we get comes out of GFI."
Although US-based GFI competes against bigger brands like Symantec and Trend Micro, it benefits from its laser focus on SMBs, Pearce said.
"They have an emphasis on simplification and value for money," he added. "Their products are cost-effective, and easy to buy, install and configure, so it's a business that is built around the channel and distribution from the start."
Pearce said Infinigate was well placed to pick up UK distribution rights due to its existing relationship with GFI in Germany. GFI has also added Infinigate as a distributor in the Nordics, he added.
Jane Silk, general manager of Sigma Distribution, confirmed the Devon-based distributor is defocusing on GFI after over four years together.
"Our actual contract runs through to the end of June but there are pricing changes coming about in the channel which mean GFI aren't going to be a focus for us," she said.
"We've worked with them for a long time and they've had a number of changes in their organisation and focus in the last couple of years. One of the things we had difficulty with was where there seemed to be some confusion over what the channel strategy was. I'm hopeful for GFI's resellers that the appointment of Infinigate will clarify some of that for the resellers but that's not been my experience for the last 12 months."
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