The direct sales model is dying, if not dead, according to Paul Slattery, general manager of Network Associates International.
Until April this year, the company had virtually no presence in the channel, except for a deal with Tech Pacific for distribution of its single-user antivirus products.
However, on April 1 this year the company made a dramatic turnaround, jumped the fence and took on Tech Pacific for all of its antivirus and firewall products in addition to striking a deal with LAN Systems for distribution and value-added integration.
Slattery said that in the few months since these deals were done, the company has already realised new opportunities.
"We are finding that a number of our partners are taking us into their accounts," he said.
Globally, Network Associates reported revenues of $US612 million last year and has been growing at nearly 130 per cent quarter on quarter.
However, in Australia, Slattery expects the company's new channels strategy will play a big part in the company achieving 300 per cent growth this fiscal year.
The company already has it eyes on two as yet unnamed Australian resellers, Slattery said.
He added that the April 1 decision will be key in supporting the company's ambitions for the corporate market, where network security is becoming a major concern.
Network Associates has four suites of products, all part of the Net Tools architecture with its portfolio growing fast via acquisition. The company recently acquired Secure Networks for $US25 million.
Like many companies making the jump from consumer-oriented markets to the enterprise, the demand for solutions rather than unit shipments requires a more diverse set of skills in addition to a broader-based product delivery strategy, Slattery said.
"The market is maturing and margins are thinning," he said, adding that company's that don't seek value-added partnerships will find themselves on the back foot.