Opinion

An open approach to a distribution review

It might have taken seven months but there has been an openness during the McAfee distribution review that has been refreshing.

In several briefings the UK and Ireland channel director Jill Henry talked about the aims of the review and then explained why it was taking the time it did.

These days a vendor cannot simply put out a call for tender for a contract and expect the world to stay still while that process goes through the necessary stages. There is consolidation, which can take the field of bidders down, in this case from nine to seven, and there are the global aims of a distribution head to take into consideration.

With most security vendors looking to maximize value from resellers and to get them to sell across a wide portfolio it is not a surprise that the same criteria has now been applied to distribution.

In a conversation with Henry she said that the vendor wanted to get more out of distribution and understood that it had a value to add that was part of its ambitions to grow market share. Plenty of other vendor's have similar ambitions and it's good to hear distribution being talked of as more than just a logistics and credit engine.

So at the end of the process the number of distributors have dropped from four to three and the review can be put to one side and normal business can resume. But for other vendors thinking of doing the same there are some real lessons to be learnt here not just about taking the time to get it right but how talking about it while the process is on-going can be useful.

This was first published in July 2010

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