F5 doubles distributor numbers with Firewall Systems

F5 doubles distributor numbers with Firewall Systems

F5 has recruited specialist security distributor, Firewall Systems, ending Tech Pacific’s reign as sole distributor for the traffic management specialist.

The addition opens up opportunities with more security resellers — a key part of F5’s future, according to its managing director, Les Howarth.

“We will be making contact with a set of resellers that we haven’t been exposed to before,” he said.

“We believe security is an important differentiator, and we will become part of a security stack that Firewall Systems has been building.”

Howarth suggested Tech Pacific was none too pleased to lose exclusivity with the vendor, but insisted the deal with Firewall Systems should complement the relationship rather than take anything away from it.

“They understand our decision and there’s been no falling out, but how would you feel?” he said.

“But I told them we were dedicated to our distributors ... We now have one in the general market and one that’s more focused.”

Managing director of Tech Pacific, Kerry Baillie, agreed there was room for both distributors in F5’s channel.

“I don’t think this is anything new, there have always been niche players that provide some value when given half a chance,” Baillie said.

“It’s up to the vendors to create the right balance.”

In order to manage the relationship with Firewall Systems, as well as grow the volume reseller business, Howarth created the role of business development manager, filling it with former Asia Netcom senior account manager, Greg Barnes.

He will be responsible for tripling the number of resellers and said the opportunity was exactly what he was waiting for.

“I was looking for a more strategic role and this one fell into my lap,” Barnes said. “F5 has gone through tremendous growth – it was time for us to expand.”

Recently appointed Firewall Systems CEO, Scott Frew, said the deal would allow the distributor to construct a range of security solutions using complementary products.

“I have been looking for products that would naturally add value to our existing range and ultimately to increase the ability of our resellers to secure their customers’ data,” he said.

For example, F5’s TrafficShield product, which is specifically designed to protect application servers, was a logical add-on to the Mxtreme product from BorderWare, which specifically protects email servers, he said.

Firewall Systems’ other vendor partners include BorderWare, FiberLogic, Network Box, St Bernard, Vasco and WatchGuard.

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