Security vendor WatchGuard has appointed Azlan as a distributor, marking the latest change in its channel strategy in vice president Jeremy Butt's promised shake-up of the channel.
WatchGuard also announced that it has severed all direct connections with resellers, and cancelled a distribution deal it had with MIS.
Butt, a former channel manager with Cisco, joined WatchGuard in November 2001 and pledged to recreate Cisco's channel model for his new employer.
He argued that appointing Azlan - a networking distributor and Cisco partner - fitted in with the direction in which WatchGuard is evolving as a business.
"With the new V-Class products we're targeting the enterprise. Azlan has a huge penetration among the networking resellers, and these are typically the companies that have good contacts among enterprises.
"And these days a lot of networking resellers are interested in selling storage, because there's a lot of the same technology involved. Then there's the fact that I know Azlan and had a good working relationship with them," he added.
According to Butt, WatchGuard now has a completely two-tier channel. "No vendor can deal properly with resellers. We spent too much time managing problems we're not ideally suited to solving."
In June, WatchGuard launched an end-user marketing programme to generate leads, which would then be passed through the channel.
Butt said the volume of leads being generated would be impossible to process without the use of distributors.
"We generated a lot of leads in the last four weeks and some are now being converted into deals. This is happening because we've converted to a more efficient method of coming to market."
Azlan's european vendor director, Geoff Brough, said security was now one of the distributor's strongest businesses.
"We'll continue to see strong growth in the sector in the coming years," said Brough. "Adding WatchGuard as a partner enables us to continue to build our security to address a wide variety of customer needs."
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