Websense dumps Alstom IT

Websense dumps Alstom IT

Websense has overturned its partner model and dropped sole local distributor, Alstom IT, in favour of dealing directly with its resellers.

Country managing director, Graham Connolly, said it had notified the supplier a month ago of its decision. The change will come into effect on May 1.

He attributed the switch to a shift in the vendor's product direction towards security solutions over straightforward content filtering tools.

"As we've become more security focused, the sales process is getting more complex," he said. "We needed to have more direct touch and contact with the resellers to give them more experience with us."

Alstom IT general manager of distribution, Greg Newham, said he was disappointed in the vendor's decision to go direct. The supplier had been working with Websense since its launch into the Australian market three years ago. Total sales had been less than five per cent of its overall revenue, he said.

"Websense wasn't a significant vendor for us, but they were growing," he said. "It's disappointing spending several years developing the market, when they then feel that it is more beneficial to take the work and sell direct to the channel. It is one of the vagaries of this industry."

Newham said Alstom was already engaged in discussions with two potential vendors to fill the void in its product line-up.

"It's a growing sector so we're actively looking for a replacement in that space," he said.

While Websense would miss the resources and assistance provided by Alstom, particularly on the training front, Connolly said he would hire a new sales staff member to counter the loss. The new employee will be based in Sydney.

Connolly said he would also limit the amount of partners Websense recognised in Australia. Websense now has 12 premium partners certified across the country.

"We're not offering a product that requires 100 resellers selling on a continual basis," he said. "We want to work with selected partners."

However, as part of plans to enhance its partner certification, Connolly said it would introduce a new sales training program in the next six months. This would revolve around selling Websense as a security solution, and include information on key business issues, he said. Once introduced, resellers will be required to have at least one person trained under the sales program.

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