Reseller International Data Security (IDS) has snubbed anti-virus supplier McAfee by recommending a package from its arch-rival, Dr Solomon's.
IDS was McAfee's leading agent in the UK, until the US-based company increased its direct market presence in this country 18 months ago. IDS continued to resell McAfee products but the relationship soured further and McAfee recently dissolved the reseller agreement.
An IDS company spokesman said: "We will continue to recommend other McAfee products and will provide its anti-virus software to clients who ask for it. However, we believe that the Dr Solomon's product simply works better."
The statement is a coup for Dr Solomon's in the increasingly bitter turf war between itself and McAfee. The UK-based Dr Solomon's is trying to increase its market share in the McAfee-dominated US market, while McAfee, in turn, is trying to cut into Dr Solomon's 70 per cent UK market share. A series of lawsuits has ensued in the US alleging patent infringements.
McAfee's marketing manager Caroline Kuipers was reluctant to comment on IDS' sudden change in direction for legal reasons. "McAfee is taking legal action against IDS to recover money owed to it," she said.
The action relates to financial issues that arose following McAfee's decision to end its reseller agreement with IDS.
"We are developing relationships with other resellers," Kuipers said.
Dr Solomon's marketing director Mike Hill confirmed that Dr Solomon's strategy had been to target resellers to generally improve distribution of its product.
"If the largest chunk of the market is going to a reseller it makes sense for us to recruit them to help sell it," Hill said. "We have been targeting resellers who are not selling our product to convince them that ours is better."
Dr Solomon's had been negotiating with IDS for some months to persuade it to become a corporate reseller. "IDS are well known in the UK and are very good at what they do. They had done a tremendous job promoting McAfee and I am really pleased that we have them on our side," Hill added.
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