Websense reinstates Alstom

Websense reinstates Alstom

Websense has reversed a decision to turn its back on distribution and reappointed Alstom IT as its sole supplier.

The vendor's president, Curt Staker, said the decision to reinstate just three months after parting company was prompted by a June meeting between with Alstom CEO, Laurie Sellers.

The two had been in constant dialogue since the initial split in April, he said.

The company had made a mistake in dropping Alstom, Staker said.

He blamed a lack of communication for the collapse of the three-year relationship.

"When these decisions are made you feel you have the parameters required to make your decision," Staker said. "On rare occasions you have to admit that these parameters have not been understood. You need to have the wherewithal and confidence to revisit it."

At the time, Websense country manager, Graham Connolly, said the decision was based on the vendor's move away from straightforward product sales into more complex security solutions.

"We need to have more direct touch and contact with the resellers to give them more experience with us," he said. However, Staker said the renewed effort Alstom was putting into security had actually been a key aspect in its decision to reappoint the company.

The two now had a deeper understanding of their long-term plans and had agreed to be more communicative about channel strategies, product roadmaps and database sharing, Staker said.

"It has been a successful relationship historically," he said. "Expectations were not matched by results during the past 18 months. But have we done a better job with the re-energised contract? Yes."

Alstom IT general manager, Greg Newham, said the new contract would see it place a stronger focus on selling security solutions. The two companies were now developing a collective strategy on taking products to market and would share resources, he said.

Alstom's sales strategy had also been revised to take a more aggressive push on boosting revenue and take-up.

This would include more focus from a headcount point of view, Newham said.

"We were happy with what we were doing, but they had much bigger plans which were not articulated," he said. "We will be more aggressive. The opportunity is significant.

"We didn't want to lose them. We have come back together with a new energy and higher degree of commitment on both sides to make it work."

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