Grahame Smee lifts veil on new VAD 4SECGroup

Doug Woodburn
Grahame Smee lifts veil on new VAD 4SECGroup

Newborn security distributor's ability to drum up leads for resellers highlighted as key strength

Serial channel entrepreneur Grahame Smee has launched a new security VAD that he says will pride itself on an ability to generate leads for its vendor and reseller partners.

4SECGroup goes live today with two launch vendors in the shape of Entrust Datacard and CensorNet.

Talking to CRN, Smee (pictured) - who sold his previous venture Cohort to Exertis in 2013 - said 4SECGroup's telemarketing team would mark it out from other VADs that have recently launched.

"Our strength will be our ability to target end users, as well as resellers," he said. "We will never deal with end users, but we will stimulate interest around our vendors and pass those leads back through our channel.

"The vendors we are working with are growth vendors, but they need partners - and the best way to recruit partners is to say ‘if you work with us we can give you sales leads'."

4SECGroup has been handed sole distribution rights by CensorNet, a cloud security specialist Smee worked for last year after leaving Exertis. Its flagship Unified Security Service (USS) offering is designed to provide integrated web security, email security, cloud access security broking and adaptive multi-factor authentication.

It will also carry Entrust Datacard's Digital Certificate Services offering, which is targeted at high-end enterprise and service providers.

"We will be focusing on the sharp end of the emerging technologies coming out of various places around the world," Smee explained. "I'm talking about securing cloud applications and secure e-commerce; compliance and visibility - all the hot topics in security.

Over time the 4SECGroup will grow to encompass not only a distributor but also other channel-only components, including a services arm that will provide consultancy, implementation and managed services, Smee revealed.

Based out of Basingstoke, 4SECGroup will be privately financed, he added.

"Because we are focusing solely on software to start with that takes away some of the burden of holding stock, so it becomes easier to finance," he said.

Smee said his time in vendor land convinced him that there is still a vacancy in the distribution tier, despite the recent launch of new VADs including Alpha Generation, Kite, Ignition, Distology and Ethos.

"I realised that when it comes to distribution, it's quite difficult to pick a distributor that does everything you want it to do," he said.

"One of the reasons I looked at distribution again is because I thought there was a hole for a proper value-added distributor."

4SECGroup will only be as good as the vendors it hooks up with, he admitted.

"You pick your vendors and hope one or two of them, or preferably all of them, go well, but that doesn't always happen," he said. "With CensorNet, I know that business well and it's on a growth spurt and we are looking to continue that this year."

Divyesh Lakhani, founder of Distology, argued that there is currently no dominant force in the security distribution market.

"There's no shortage of vendors but we're all trying to find that 'killer app' that will become huge," he said. "Grahame's realised that there's not a huge security distributor and that there's space for one. One of us will become that. Having an established player like CensorNet will help him attract more vendors, so he's done well with that."

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