Distributors key to Kaspersky plans for New Zealand

Distributors key to Kaspersky plans for New Zealand

Vendor sees untapped potential and considers landing feet on the ground in six months

Security software vendor Kaspersky Lab is on an aggressive trajectory as it attacks the SMB market in New Zealand with help from its four distributors that now play in this market.

With Hemisphere Technologies recently joining Express Data, SMS eTechnologies and WhiteGold, the software company is investing in building its business and consumer channels on this side of the Tasman.

“We obviously don’t want to saturate,” says Andrew Mamonitis, the vendor’s ANZ managing director. “There needs to be skin in the game for the distributors as well but the fact is they all want to be there at the moment. They see we will be gaining and they don’t need much of a nudge to get involved.”

The vendor has between 200 and 500 resellers that it sells through in New Zealand, but says it is currently cleaning up its database while all of its distributors continue campaigns to acquire more business partners.

The distributors include Hemisphere, which Mamonitis says hit the ground running in New Zealand after its appointment several months ago.

“They have invested heavily in marketing and advertising and in local staff on the ground,” says Mamonitis. “They’ve recenlty acquired new accounts and they’ve brought on board Noel Leeming. They’ve been active and their focus is to penetrate the business to business space.”

Hemisphere and SMS are both licensed to distribute corporate and consumer products while Whitegold and Express Data focus solely on the business products.

Until recently, Express Data was the vendor’s only distributor with a presence in New Zealand. According to Mamonitis, Whitegold is expanding to New Zealand later this year, possibly as early as the third quarter.

“All the distributors see New Zealand as a key area to focus on in the next few year,” Mamonitis says. “We’re investnig in them because we think there’s a lot of untapped potential in New Zealand.

“The biggest thing for us is that the New Zealand market sits well with the Kaspersky model. We don’t sell direct and we work on a partner model and Kaspersky’s strength is in the SMB space. And that’s what New Zealand is. For us it makes perfect sense that we gain more market share and attack more aggressively.”

Mamonitis says the introduction of Endpoint Security 8 last November was the catalyst for Kaspersky’s competitiveness in the corporate and SMB space. New partner initiatives, particularly the Kaspersky K Kash programme which is still in effect, have helped attract resellers by offering an additional 15 percent margin on top of the standard margin. The vendor is also supporting its distributors through promotional events, such as a pre-game Rugby event in Auckland in January.

The company has high hopes for its agent-less Security for Virtualisation product, and for its managed service product as well.

With all the activity going on in New Zealand, the vendor may put some staff in country.

“We will be investing in some of our own resources there in the next six months but at this stage we’ve decided to support the distributors that have entered that market and supporting them to run our campaigns, promotions and to co-fund any resources that they’re putting out in the moment.”

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