Strength in security

Security distributors in the region are creating a niche for themselves as more companies are making protection of information a top priority.

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By  Julian Pletts Published  October 21, 2008

Security distributors in the region are creating a niche for themselves as more companies are making protection of information a top priority. Channel Middle East quizzes some of the region's leading IT security distributors on the fast-changing nature of the business and asks them to predict the future of the market.

The region's IT scene is full of specialised nooks and crannies occupied by unique systems integrators and served in turn by distributors offering carefully-developed portfolios. However, there is one such niche that is emerging from its corner all guns blazing and that is security.

If channel players in this segment are heard then security is no longer an after-thought for enterprise companies. Gone are the days when security merely entailed a virus checker and password protection.

Now that the market has increased in sophistication, members of the distribution channel are profiting from developing a dedicated security business and hunting for vendor partners that can answer the changing security needs of the market.

As the security domain exhibits strong signs of maturity and even greater potential - not to mention an ongoing consolidation trend among vendors - it is the distributors in this realm that are facilitating the quality of service systems integrators offer to secure sustainable revenue. In fact, it is often difficult for distributors not to be involved in the reseller channel's work.

Security distributors are taking responsibility for reseller, and indeed end-user, training and education, as well as working tirelessly to develop leads through pre-sales work and round out their offering with a range of post-sales services.

Almost every proponent of value added security distribution in the Middle East is adamant that the revenue and margins gained from their approach far outweigh those garnered from butting boxes around in a broadline distribution fashion.

But regardless of whichever model distribution bosses follow, the business is not without challenges that have to be deconstructed in order to achieve the rich rewards available.

These include finding the staff with unique skills to service the security channel, maintaining commitment and loyalty from resellers in a competitive market, and convincing vendors to invest in educating end-users and working with governments to implement security standards.

Thus, there's a serious workload that security distributors must absorb in addition to their traditional responsibilities. Here the region's top security distribution players explain why the hard work pays off and give their verdict on what action must be taken to drive channel growth.

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