Reseller News

Symantec rejigs distribution

SYMANTEC has completed an extensive review of its distribution strategy in New Zealand retaining its original two local distributors - Express Data and Tech Pacific.

The four-month-long review was part of a regional-wide process driven by Symantec’s Australian-based Asia-Pacific distribution team and follows the acquisition of anti-spam vendor Brightmail earlier this year and PowerQuest last year.

It sees Symantec part ways with incumbent local Brightmail and PowerQuest distributors Capital Technologies and Soft Solutions respectively.

The V2i Protector range that Symantec inherited from PowerQuest, along with a number of other enterprise administration products, have been added to Express Data’s portfolio, while both it and Tech Pacific will now also stock Brightmail.

This outcome ends over a year of uncertainty for Soft Solutions, who was taken on by Symantec as a distributor for PowerQuest last October, and was responsible for establishing the brand here.

According to Soft Solutions sales manager Paul Leslie, the decision to drop the company came as a disappointment to both Soft Solutions and the local Symantec team, who he says fought hard to keep the company on.

“These things happen, but we will not lose any sleep over it,” he says.

Leslie believes one of the reasons Soft Solutions was not retained as a distributor was because it was not willing to take on the entire Symantec range, including its security products, as this would have conflicted with the Trend Micro security product it already represents.

“All the way through the process, we made it clear we were only interested in distributing the enterprise administration products,” he says.

Symantec country manager Richard Batchelar says this was the first major review of the company’s distribution strategy in the region for years.

He says the aim of the review was to ensure the company had the best distributors to match its future strategy, while it needed to consolidate its distribution following a number of acquisitions in recent years.

Batchelar says Symantec issued requests for proposals to all the major distributors in the country, including those it has never had a relationship with and was able to measure its existing distributors against all others.

“Tech Pacific and Express Data came out tops in terms of what we wanted,” he says.

Batchelar could not comment on whether dropping Soft Solutions resulted in disquiet among local Symantec staff, but says the decision was bound to cause some “pain points” as the team had its relationships with a “dedicated local team”, such as Soft Solutions, cut.

“Paul and his team did a very good job, but realistically we had to judge whether the processes at Soft Solutions will fit the model we wanted going forward,” he says.

Batchelar says Capital Technologies is now a value-added reseller for the Brightmail range and continues to work hard with the brand.

Leslie meanwhile says Soft Solutions is already making up for losing PowerQuest, as it is in the closing stages of reaching a distribution agreement for a similar product by another vendor - Acronis.

“Acronis True Image makes a good competitor to the Symantec range,” says Leslie.

“We are pretty excited about it as we like to own a brand and specialise in products that are emerging or are in their twilight years.”