Analysis: Security disties look beyond traditional markets


Analysis: Security disties look beyond traditional markets

Over the course of the past 18 months moves have been made by some of the most established players in the specialised security distribution channel to widen their range of expertise.

Wick Hill has been busy signing up vendors that operate in the voice and security space to make sure that as that market starts to take off it is in a pole position to provide products and services.

At InfoSec Ian Kilpatrick, chairman of Wick Hill, spoke about how it had taken decisions designed to have a long-term impact on the direction of the business.

"Strategically we have made a major play with security convergence. We took it on in the recession but we have grown a lot of business in a tough market and the number of resellers who are IP literate who are delivering solutions in that convergence sector is growing," he said.

He talked about how those resellers that already had skills in security and networking were in a position to expand into other technologies and use their skills to embrace complementary technologies
The phrase 'complementary technologies' is one that also cropped up in discussions with ComputerLinks. The distributor has also taken decisions to extend its portfolio with physical IP security, recently increasing its virtualisation activities and declaring a determination to set up a training and services operation head-and-shoulders above its rivals.

Mark Norman, chief operating officer at ComputerLinks, has set out an ambition to recalibrate its products and services revenue mix, as well as adding more products to extend its reach beyond security.

"The core of the company is three-quarters of the revenues coming from products and a quarter from services, but we want to get the balance 50:50," he said. "With a big enough portfolio, resellers will buy segments of it and don't have to put in big investments [to carry the whole range]."

To support those ambitions it has reshuffled the UK management team, with Dave Ellis becoming director of new technology and services, and David Caughtry taking the role of director of core technology.

Ellis has been building up the services side of the business and points to the recent examples of relationships forged in the virtualisation market as an indication of its plans to become known in the channel for more than just data security. "We are a lot more than being a security distributor. What we are about is the complementary technologies," he said.

The definition of a specialist distributor has always been in its ability to add value for both vendors and resellers and, as a couple of high profile examples in the security space prove, the decisions that will shape the next stage of the security channel are being taken.

This was first published in May 2010

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