Security vendor Barracuda has signed a distribution agreement with Westcoast to boost the number of specialised cloud partners in its channel base.
Chris Ross, Barracuda's senior vice president of international sales, explained to CRN that the deal has come at the end of a two-year process that has seen the vendor shift its strategy to focus more on new areas such as storage and public cloud, as well as its traditional security market.
As part of this shift, Barracuda has looked to build up a strong base of specialised VARs in each of its target areas, with Westcoast seen as the right distribution partner to unlock access to cloud specialists.
Westcoast, which recently launched a dedicated partner programme for its cloud partners, joins Nuvias and CMS as Barracuda's UK distributors.
"Building a specialist VAR channel team is important for us," Ross said. "We're always looking to find the next emerging partners - either partners in our existing base that want to specialise or ones that aren't yet thinking about Barracuda.
"We've done a lot of work in that respect and as part of that we also took a look at distribution and how we go to market.
"I was chatting to Alex [Tatham], whom I've known for years, and he was talking about how his Microsoft cloud business is a key growth driver for them.
"While every reseller has to be thinking about public cloud, there is a whole partner community that is extremely specialised in it. Alex was telling me about where they're seeing success and it just clicked that this might be an opportunity for us."
Barracuda has expanded its product portfolio over the past two years, adding the likes of cloud and data protection products to its legacy web and email security solutions.
The vendor has also been integrating MSP Intronis, which it acquired in 2015 and has now renamed Barracuda MSP.
Ross explained that Barracuda's biggest challenge now is making its partner base aware of its range of solutions and encouraging them to branch out into new areas.
"It's been quite a bit of work to make sure we've got all the right things in place," he said. "We've always had the technology, and that keeps evolving, but the biggest investment we've made in the UK over the past two years is specifically around people.
"Now is the time for us to start shouting about it. My perception is that awareness of us in the channel has grown significantly over the past year."
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