Surf's up for filtering firm

Surf's up for filtering firm

The channel is being credited with giving SurfControl a 30 per cent share of the local Web and email filtering market.

Analyst firm, IDC, recently completed its first research into the Australian Web and email filtering market and found the software company also had 4.4 per cent of the broader secure content management market.

�With strong support from the channel and a growing installed base of customers, particularly in the Web-filtering area, SurfControl achieved significant market share,� said IDC Australia software market analyst Megan Dahlgren.

SurfControl Australia managing director, Charles Heunemann, added channel partners increased their earnings by 56 per cent in the quarter to March 31, with the overall business increasing revenues by 29 per cent compared with the same period in 2003.

During the quarter, SurfControl opened a Victorian office, appointed channel managers for Queensland and Victoria, and signed up new channel partners ContentWise, Data Nets Ltd PNG and Surety IT in Queensland.

New customers included Hydro Tasmania, Fox Studios and Queensland Racing.

Heunemann told ARN that SurfControl was its own distributor to 30 resellers. The company also sells direct but the channel�s share of total sales is growing.

Towards the end of 2002, SurfControl had talked of going all-channel by the end of 2003, but some 25 per cent of sales remain direct. Heunemann said this was because some large customers still preferred to deal direct with the company. He said he hoped the firm would go all channel one day but was not prepared to set a new target date.

The resellers are spread across many disciplines, he said, such as messaging and security.

They are backed by five SurfControl staff in �pure� channel support roles, plus three direct sales staff, who also work with the channel when needed.

Heunemann claimed SurfControl�s channel is �morphing� as it grows bigger. The company has just acquired a Linux-based email filtering application company in China. This will see SurfControl gain a retail presence in China and offer new services in Australia.

Managed services were also growing in importance, Heunemann continued. SurfControl either works with partners in placing a �box on the site� and managing the software; or outsourcer CSC hosts the filtering solution and end-user customers purchase the service through CSC.

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