WebSpy reconstructs its channel

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Perth-based Internet security software developer WebSpy has signed three new distributors in a bid to reconstruct its channel in the wake of e-distributor Janteknology's demise.

Jack Andrys, CEO of WebSpy, said the ink had just dried on a 12-month agreement with three niche Australian distributors – Aquion, WhiteGold Solutions and Techplus Distribution to shift WebSpy's entire range.

“We've been very selective but not exclusive. We were looking for keen parties, with the energy to move the product and be realistic about that,” he said.

WebSpy had “five or six” other potentials in the wings but selected Aquion, WhiteGold and Techplus for their enthusiasm and focus on their individual niches.

While expected returns for each distributor were not huge, long term business relationships would be built with customers in specialist niches. Andrys admitted there was “some overlap” between the three distributors but did not believe it would cause a problem.

“We are not going to try to tell them how to run their businesses and we try not to employ two people to tread on each other's toes too much ... although only time will tell,” he said.

Paul Kern, MD at Melbourne-based Techplus Distribution, said he expected WebSpy's portfolio to reap $1 million to $2 million in the next year.

“We are not a huge distributor ... I think we [three] take different parts of the market. I had never heard of the other two, and they'd never heard of me before now,” he said.

Techplus is a system integrator managing WAN/LAN networking and bandwidth for SMBs. Kern believes up to 500 of the Australasian resellers on its books could be in the market for WebSpy product.

“There's a synergy between WebSpy product and what we do,” he said.

Kern said the resellers that bought Techplus bandwidth management products were also in the market to protect their bandwidth, harnessing Internet security and monitoring tools such as those developed by WebSpy.

“WebSpy is very easy to use, the user interface is very good and it's an Australian company with an Australian-designed product. People want to support that,” he said.

Dominic Whitehand, MD at Sydney-based WhiteGold, said he expected WebSpy product to reap $300,000 to $400,000 in the first year. WhiteGold pushes security products from “about 10” vendors to up to 20 resellers in Australia and NZ.

“We have a very low number of high quality resellers, in specific niche verticals, such as education,” he said.

Whitehand said the closure of Janteknology was an opportunity for WebSpy to step back and implement a clear, complete channel strategy, instead of building its channel piecemeal like other vendors.

“They appear to have taken the approach of having a handful of distributors that ... travel on nicely together,” he said. “We can provide anything from DSL communications to infrastructure to go with that, around firewall products, network vulnerability and so on.”

WhiteGold concentrated on “value-added” packages, providing services and support with a product, instead of high volume box-shifting, Whitehand added.

Aquion looks after a small number of policy-based security vendors, including PGP Corporation and legacy integration tool developer WRQ Software. The Sydney-based distributor has 25 resellers serving medium to large clients in Australia and New Zealand. The company hopes to earn $400,000 from pushing WebSpy in a year. “Our customers have high volume requirements so WebSpy's enterprise-level product Analyzer Giga, in particular, presents a great fit,” said Stephen Balicki, MD at Aquion.

The WebSpy Microsoft ISA Server bundle should also move well, he said.

WebSpy, in March announced a deal with Microsoft to bundle a Microsoft firewall and web cache server, Internet Security and Acceleration (ISA) Server 2000, with WebSpy Analyzer internet monitoring tools.

At the same time, just after the closure of Janteknology, WebSpy announced its channel partner program for resellers and system integrators.

Andrys did not rule out taking on other distributors in coming months, particularly in NZ, which WebSpy business development manager Julia Andrys would visit on reconnaissance mid-year.

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