BullGuard has appointed Synnex as non-exclusive distributor of its internet security, mobile antivirus and Gamer’s Edition Internet Security products. However, it neglected to inform another distributor, Renaissance Brands, that a new deal has been inked; at least according to general manager Mark Dasent.
Renaissance entered into an agreement with Bullguard in July 2007. At the time, BullGuard’s A/NZ sales manager Bronwyn Gascoigne said the vendor wanted to extend its channel after MEC had been distributing BullGuard for a couple of years. “We see Renaissance as a great partner,” she said last year.
Gascoigne now says MEC is also technically still a BullGuard distributor, even though it hasn’t done much for BullGuard lately. “It’s probably a relationship that will be reviewed. They have been inactive for some time.”
When Reseller News spoke to Renaissance Brands’ general manager Mark Dasent on the day of the Synnex announcement, he said he understood his company to have the exclusive BullGuard distributorship, although he was aware BullGuard was in talks with other potential distributors. “I knew there were discussions, but nothing had been formalised.”
Several days later, after referring to his copy of the agreement, he accepted it was non-exclusive but still hadn’t heard from BullGuard. “I was quite surprised. It would have been nice if there had been some kind of notification that she was going to appoint Synnex, but that hasn’t happened.” Asked whether he is disappointed, Dasent says, “I’m not overly concerned. It’s a very, very small part of our business.”
Gascoigne says there has possibly been some internal miscommunication. “Mark knew I was talking to new distributors some time ago, and it was relayed back to Renaissance on quite a few occasions,” says Gascoigne. “I actually relayed it back to my product manager there.”
Dasent says he would expect to have been told personally. “Normally, common courtesy would prevail. You would contact the manager or the directors of the company to advise them once you were about to ink the deal.”
Gascoigne suggests Renaissance fell out of favour because BullGuard is now targeting system-builders and needs partners with ties to that market. “Over time, I think we all sort of realised that [Renaissance] couldn’t get access into the very important system-builder market,” she claims.
Synnex says it will use its existing base of channel partners to support BullGuard locally. “This partnership reinforces our commitment to our resellers,” says Synnex country manager Richard Harri.
BullGuard promises resellers a “unique revenue-sharing model” designed to protect their margins. Harri equates it to Amway-style, multilevel marketing. The programme returns 25 percent of the subscription renewal fee on its products to resellers, and the amount is paid every time a customer renews.
Dasent says it is still too soon for Renaissance Brands to judge the scheme’s effectiveness. “BullGuard says from its overseas business it has around a 70 or 80 percent renewal uptake, which would imply that most of the products we’ve sold would be renewed. Actually, we should be starting to see some revenue share. I know we got them into retail relatively quickly.”
Gascoigne says distributors need to be selling its products for at least a year to benefit financially from the renewals.