Email security provider IronPort has flagged an expansion of its local reseller network to capitalise on growing demand for network security appliances.
"In the very early days there was some direct business done because there was no channel in place, but the channel has always been our preferred model," IronPort A/NZ southern region manager, John Martens, said. Since opening its Australian operations, the company has claimed more than 50 major customer wins, including Qantas, the CSIRO, Telstra, iiNET and Deakin University.
Locally, IronPort works on a two-tiered model, with specialist distributor, ChannelWorx, supplying a wide range of resellers and UnixPac focusing on government and enterprise clients.
ChannelWorx has seen its year-on-year sales of IronPort product increase by 100 per cent.
Martens said the company's security expertise and willingness to work with start-up organisations had been key factors in its selection.
"Our next step is to broaden our channel out," Martens said. "It's easy to find resellers, but it's hard to find good resellers who really understand the product."
IronPort currently employs two full-time local telemarketers to identify potential leads, an approach which has made an expansion of the reseller network a key focus for 2006.
"Our strategy is about getting partners off the ground by providing them with those opportunities," Martens said.
"We started out at the smaller end of the market, but we would like to see some of the bigger players in our channel."
Telemarketing would continue to be central to 2006 operations, but other marketing activities were also in the pipeline, he said.
Steadily growing volumes of spam and malware were likely to see an increasing demand for enterprise-class email protection, IronPort senior vice-president, Tom Gillis, predicted during a recent visit to Australia.
"To really fix those problems, we need to change the underlying infrastructure behind email," he said.
Analysts suggest the security sector is increasingly focusing on an appliance-based approach.
"Two big trends in the security market over the last couple of years have been the deployment of security functions on dedicated appliances and the combination of security functions into single appliances," Forrester analyst, Paul Stamp commented, earlier this year.