Distributors back recent vendor marriage

Distributors back recent vendor marriage

Local distributors for EMC and RSA Security have reacted favourably to news of the vendor marriage.

EMC announced its intention to acquire the authentication security company two weeks ago for almost $US2.1 billion. The deal is expected to be finalised by the last quarter of the year.

Express Data has been distributing RSA Security for some time. While not shifting significant volumes, the vendor's technology was one of its top growth areas, managing director, Ross Cochrane, said.

"We are keen to retain the RSA products as they have been a strong performer for us," he said. "There is strong activity, which I think has been endorsed by the fact that EMC has been compelled to go and acquire an organisation operating in this space. It reflects it's a hot technology."

Cochrane said RSA's focus on identity security tied in well with EMC's data management business.

"The links are there. EMC needs to be able to track who accesses the data so they can tell customers who is viewing their information," he said.

RSA had made some initial communications to ED about the acquisition, but Cochrane said it would take time before the channel felt any impact. In the mean time, the distributor would carry on promoting RSA in its own right.

"Our view is that as long as we do a good job the relationship should continue," he said.

LAN Systems is sole EMC distributor in Australia. National sales manager, Leigh Howard, said he was not surprised at the vendor's decision to step into the authentication and encryption security space. But he admitted the choice of RSA had been unexpected.

"The fact that EMC is broadening its technology reach to encompass encryption and authentication shows it is trying to protect the data it stores," he said.

Howard said RSA technology would see EMC secure the data at the point where people came in and out of the network.

"EMC hasn't gone out to buy a huge security organisation based around central securities like VPNs, firewalls or antivirus - it's tackling the problem from the edge. It's a much more logical way to do this," he said.

LAN Systems does not have a distribution relationship with RSA, but its parent company, Westcon, does. While it was still too early to know how the acquisition would impact both channels, Howard said LAN was confident of adding the RSA range to its portfolio.

Under similar circumstances, it was given access to Dantz Retrospect backup products following EMC's acquisition of that company last year.

"We are excited by this deal - any acquisition EMC makes is good for us," he said. "As this unfolds into its portfolio, we expect those products will be made available to us.

"We would be disappointed if the global RSA relationship doesn't eventuate here."

With previous acquisitions, EMC has retained distributors for its own and acquired product sets. The Dantz Retrospect backup products are still available from its former local distributor, ChannelWorx. The VMware range is still managed by longstanding distributor, Ingram Micro.

Cochrane said ED would be open to carrying EMC's storage product line.

"We have got to continually look at our relationships and see if there are technology spaces where we can expand our coverage," he said.

EMC was unable to comment on local channel plans at the time of press.

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