Reseller News

Sonicwall buy an upside for distie

Renaissance Brands expects Sonicwall’s acquisition of Aventail to bolster the fortunes of a brand it has battled to get off the ground in New Zealand.

The distributor represents both brands and while it has enjoyed considerable success with Sonicwall, it has struggled to position Aventail’s high-end SSL VPN remote access products locally, says general manager Mark Dasent.

“Getting positioning right for Avential has been challenging.”

However, Dasent believes Sonicwall’s support and distribution strategy will benefit Aventail locally.

“The acquisition is a positive for us. We think the mode of operation from a distribution strategy perspective will improve – Sonicwall is very good in that regard. It has a much more mature channel programme that can benefit Aventail.”

Although Renaissance has represented Aventail, which Sonicwall is buying for around US$25 million (NZ$31m) in cash, since 2005, very few resellers have come on board with the brand, says Dasent.

Sonicwall’s Singapore-based Asia Pacific vice-president Heng Loon Chee acknowledges Aventail has been slow to gain traction in the region, saying this is one of the most pressing challenges facing the brand.

“Aventail is recognised as having good technology and products, especially its SSL VPN solutions for the enterprise. But it did not have the ability to put on enough resources to do the products justice.”

Aventail had not been able to put the sales and technical people in place to grow and nurture channel partners, especially in far flung countries such as New Zealand, says Chee.

Through Sonicwall, Aventail will have a larger sales infrastructure, he adds. “This will not only be direct employees, but also our partner infrastructure. Aventail resellers can now look forward to more resources.”

Renaissance will remain as a distributor for both brands, Chee says, adding this will create opportunities for resellers to cross-sell between the two ranges.

“Renaissance has done a superb job for Sonicwall. We are happy to have them as our only distribution partner in New Zealand for the time being.”

Meanwhile Chee says it is too soon to speculate how the Sonicwall and Aventail product range will be integrated, or the future of the Aventail brand.

Although development teams from both companies are already in talks, the acquisition still need to overcome final regulatory hurdles over the next few weeks. Louis van Wyk