Security distributor, Firewall Systems, has taken the wraps off its new FireStation online ordering portal. The launch coincides with the announcement of a new distribution deal with US-based content filtering management vendor, Blue Coat.
Firewall CEO, Scott Frew, said the custom-made, password protected site would allow resellers to select products from all of its vendor partners, along with the required services and options.
The challenge was in devising a site which could list the complex services and support features required for individual product categories into a single quote, he said.
"In the past we have done quotes for every reseller sale to take into account things like consulting and services for example," Frew said. "With the online configurator, all of these services are linked to the items they go with. We have developed this portal to take the pain out of it."
One of the site's core features was a mandatory product function, which forced resellers to select from a list associated accessories, services support and warranty terms for their chosen products.
In the past, resellers could forget to order all of the necessary pieces required for a product install and turn up to a customer's site with an incomplete offering, Frew said.
"If there are five items within a sale, the portal will show the reseller all of those mandatory items," he said. "The system forces you to get the customer quote right."
The FireStation site would also immediately provide partners with their individual buy breaks and discounted pricing, Frew said. This information was tied to their login details. In cases where resellers were granted special discounts from a vendor, Firewall could update user information in real-time.
The distributor was now working on completing an additional annuity engine by next month. This would be followed by a reseller dashboard facility, which would display a reseller's current credit limit and evaluation product status, he said.
In other news, Firewall has signed on to distribute Blue Coat's appliance-based security products. Frew said the vendor's recently launched SSL proxy technology was the main drawcard.
"The problem up until now has been that when end-users build an SSL tunnel to transact, you can't see any of the information within it," he said. "There's no access or trace you can run with. It's been a hole that we couldn't protect."
The Blue Coat SSL security product range - ProxySG and ProxyAV - would give network administrators the ability to examine that content for any potential known viruses or security threats at the gateway, before it reached the end-user.
The company also offers a range of control point and content filtering products covering Web traffic.
Firewall joins LAN Systems as a local distributor.
Firewall marketing director, Nick Verykios, said Blue Coat's range was complementary to its existing security vendors because it provided another layer of protection for customers.
"We have been focused on stopping the bad stuff coming in. Now we are focusing on addressing inside security threats," he said. "Blue Coat fits into this area."
Blue Coat regional sales manager A/NZ, Wayne Neich, said it was experiencing the greatest level of success with government agencies and large corporates.
Stronger legislation on Internet usage and appropriate content downloads had been a catalyst for take-up, he said. "This product fits in with organisations that need to enforce and protect their Internet acceptable usage policies for legal reasons," he said.