A10 Networks has chosen its sole distributor Cloud Distribution as its first approved training partner in the UK, with the aim of getting up to eight Gold partners certified this year.
Cloud Distribution became A10's only UK distributor at the beginning of 2016, when the vendor parted ways with its other distie Wick Hill "very amicably".
The distributor will now run all training for the vendor's application delivery controller and threat-protection system products, to both end users and reseller partners. Once trained, staff will be certified trainers, meaning they can then train their staff in their own offices.
Lee Mepsted, channel manager for western Europe at A10, said that this is part of the vendor's plan to ramp up its channel strategy following the launch of its partner programme, Affinity, last year.
He said: "I've been on board since the beginning of the year and the idea was to really ramp up the channel partnerships we had previously. We wanted to build a much stronger channel around the UK specifically and in EMEA.
"The idea is to make sure we have a handful of certified Gold partners, between six and eight, and a number of other partners and end users certified in the UK"
Cloud Distribution will run training courses out of its Reading headquarters. It will be the only certified training partner in Europe, and Scott Dobson, managing director of the distributor, said it will hire venues when training outside of the UK.
"We were very keen to work closely with A10 to build our technical capabilities to fill that gap and educate the end customer and the channel itself," Dobson added. "We have a big channel momentum that we need to get on top of and evolve. We are providing facilities and trainers, as well as both online and physical training courses throughout Europe."
Dobson said that over the last 18 months A10 has become more important to Cloud Distribution's bottom line because of its change in focus to include network security.
He explained: "What A10 have done over the last 18 months is pretty interesting. They have come from a very solid networking infrastructure background. Just as we were looking to extend our pedigree in that networking infrastructure, into security, they also decided to broaden their portfolio and get involved in threat protection and secure SSL management at the end of the network. They are becoming a more and more intrinsic part of our overall portfolio, and more and more important to our bottom line."
A10 partner Performanta's sales manager Keith Christie-Smith said that the VAR has already taken advantage of the training courses offered by Cloud Distribution for A10 Networks.
He said: "We had six people on the A10 training course with Cloud Distribution in March. It was well received. Things with A10 are going well. It is good that they have got dedicated resources now in the UK, which they haven't really focused on in the past. It is great that they now have a team here that we can work with."
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