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Secure Computing boosts channel

IT security vendor Secure Computing is ramping up its partner network in the Middle East. Strong interest in its products across the region has convinced the NASDAQ-quoted vendor that the market is ready for more resellers.

IT security vendor Secure Computing is ramping up its partner network in the Middle East. Strong interest in its products across the region has convinced the NASDAQ-quoted vendor that the market is ready for more resellers. After dumping some partners last year, Secure Computing appointed US Telecoms as a value-added distributor (VAD) in the region and is now starting to reap the rewards.

Peter Barlow, regional director Middle East and Africa (MEA) at Secure Computing, speaking during Gitex, said: “The one product that is capturing a lot of attention is the firewall appliance. We have had strong interest from resellers coming up. They had done research prior to this show and found out about the product and came to see us for demonstrations. Now we will start assessing their quality alongside US Telecoms, our value-added distributor (VAD) in the region, and follow up with them.”

Secure Computing already has half a dozen resellers operating in the Middle East, with four more in the process of signing up. Secure Computing’s Middle East channel has undergone a seismic shift during the last year.

“Secure Computing has been dealing with companies in the region for several years now but up until a year ago there was no real direct touch within the region,” said Barlow. “We came to Gitex last year and met some of the partners that we had on board. These were basically people that had come through the website, expressed an interest in reselling our products and signed up.”

“When we assessed the quality of those partners, we were very disappointed to put it mildly and set about terminating a number of the agreements,” he continued. “We then set up US Telecoms as our VAD for the entire region. US Telecoms provides them with all the training and support resellers need. We now have a high quality reseller base and business is growing exponentially.”

With an aggressive channel recruitment programme now in place, Secure Computing is also toying with the idea of running reseller conferences in the Middle East as it deepens its presence in the fast-growing market.

“The market is wide open and there is a very high level of focus on security,” explained Barlow. “There is more growth potential in the Middle East as a single market than there probably is in any other market today worldwide.”

Secure Computing’s product portfolio includes SafeWord authentication software, Sidewinder security appliances and web filtering software. The vendor posted sales of US$85.74m for the year ending June 2004. Industry analysts IDC expect the worldwide market for security software to be worth US$14.4bn in 2007.

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