US security appliance vendor WatchGuard has given Ingram Micro the boot, hiring homegrown security specialist WhiteGold Solutions as third tine in its three-pronged push into the Australian channel.
Sven Radavics, sales director for WatchGuard in Australia and New Zealand, said WhiteGold joined LAN Systems and Firewall Systems to take over as the third distributor in the security vendor's stable. Ingram Micro had been dropped.
“With Ingram Micro, we decided not to renew the relationship,” Radavics said.
“Ours is a product that requires a lot more value-add and selling skills into the security market. Ingram Micro did some great things for WatchGuard but at the end of the day, it wasn't really an appropriate focus.”
Steve Rust, MD at Ingram Micro, was contacted for comment but wasn't available at press-time.
WatchGuard's Radavics said that WhiteGold was chosen partly for its expertise in security and ability to add value via training and support for resellers, particularly through its use of CRM in-house.
Australia's security market was changing “quite dramatically” in favour of integrated security appliances, he claimed, and users no longer treating security products so much as a “necessary evil”.
WhiteGold also employed staff that had previous strong relationships with WatchGuard products and Radavics had worked with WhiteGold MD Dominic Whitehand and sales director Jonathan Odria in previous roles, he said.
“WhiteGold represents a new concept for distribution in the Australian channel,” Radavics said. “And working with Dominic and Jonathan before, we had the most outstanding sales success.”
Jonathan Odria, sales director at WhiteGold Solutions, said WatchGuard was strong in the SMB space, an area growing in importance for security sales. WatchGuard products were easily upgraded as a business grew, he said.
“We never really had a product that fitted the SMB firewall space and WatchGuard is very strong in the 50 to 250 user environment,” Odria said.
Other vendors also worked in that space but WhiteGold had staff that had worked with WatchGuard gear before. The product also bundled well with other WhiteGold offerings from vendors such as WebSpy, he said.
The next 12 months should see WhiteGold earning US$1 million for WatchGuard and US$1.2 million for WhiteGold, he added.
WhiteGold had taken on two staff to push WatchGuard, a business development manager formerly of distributor ChannelWorx and a security support engineer. WatchGuard resellers would also receive a rebate, Odria said.
Dominic Whitehand, MD at WhiteGold Solutions, said that WhiteGold had already trained five WatchGuard security partners and wanted to train 15 by the end of the quarter. “We talk them through the certification process,” he said.