Websense dumps distribution

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Security vendor Websense has dropped Alstom IT as its sole distributor, opting to deal directly with its reseller base.

Security vendor Websense has dropped Alstom IT as its sole distributor, opting to deal directly with its reseller base.

Graham Connolly, country manager at Websense for Australia and New Zealand, said the company notified Alstom a month ago that it was chopping distribution and would deal direct with resellers. Alstom's contract would expire at the end of April, he said.

A year earlier, Websense had also cut Digital Networks from its distribution list.

The decision to stop using a distributor was driven by the company’s desire to increase sales by "having more contact" with its reseller partners, Connolly said. He added that a lot of resellers also prefer to deal direct with vendors.

Connolly said that previously all resellers bought through distribution, and there were no direct sales to resellers.

Websense markets a range of web filtering and web security software products which are sold under a subscription model.

Connolly said sales had been strong through Alstom and the company had sold more than 200,000 seats in Australia to customers that included Australian Consolidated Press, Mercy Health and Virgin Mobile.

The company has a base of 10 Premier partners that had committed to selling Websense and not competing products. Some of these partners had in the past walked away from deals where the customer requested another product, Connolly said.

The remaining 30 or 40 reseller partners would not sell Websense exclusively, but would rather respond to a customer's request, he said.

With distribution out of the picture, Connolly promised to work closely with reseller partners and help them derive extra profit margin from Websense sales. Special pricing for individual resellers was also available for particular deals, he said.

Leo J Cole, VP of marketing, said the company used distribution in other countries including the UK and Japan. In the United States, it had employed a direct reseller model. Its channel model varies by country, he said.

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