Firewall restructures and branches into networking

Firewall restructures and branches into networking

Distributor creates new corporate face and business unit to address broader technologies

The founders of security distributor, Firewall Systems, have created a new corporate identity and split the business into security and networking divisions as part of plans to offer broader technology offerings.

The move will bring the value-added distributor into direct competition with established networking suppliers such as Express Data and LAN Systems. Firewall CEO, Scott Frew, founded LAN Systems in 1990, while marketing director, Nick Verykios, was general manager several years ago.

Under the new model, Firewall Systems is one of several units underneath Distribution Central; the umbrella company managing logistics, services and back-end infrastructure. The parent company will be the main vendor contact point.

Firewall Systems sits alongside newly formed networking division, NetWorld Systems, which is aimed at delivering advanced infrastructure products.

To mark its move into networking, the distributor has secured agreements with US file transfer appliance start-up, Accellion, gigabit switch vendor, Force10 Networks, and Netgear - with a focus on its high-end ProSafe range. It is also offering products from existing vendors, Exinda Networks, Avocent and Aruba Networks, via NetWorld Systems.

Existing Firewall services are now being offered with a networking slant, including NetProof (installation and management), sales and accredited technical training and a regular newsletter.

Verykios said the decision to realign the company was nearly two years ahead of schedule.

"Firewall still exists in its entirety, but our corporate identity has changed," he said. "Distribution Central will concentrate on all of the services we develop."

"The time has come to split the company up. Our resources are at the point where we can do it."

CEO, Scott Frew, said the biggest challenge for Firewall was how to keep its high-touch focus while expanding.

"This structure will be a better option for the reseller market," he said. "We've had voice and networking vendors wanting to be distributed through Firewall Systems. If we'd done that, it would have diluted our security expertise and our protection from Express Data and LAN Systems."

Because Distribution Central's back-end logistics, accounting and configuration engines would be driving the business units, resellers could submit orders from different divisions using a single online configuration, Frew said.

NetWorld Systems is being headed up by former HP systems staffer, Richard Denyer. Frew said it had hired six staff in sales management as well as pre- and post-sales support for the new unit.

Frew predicted NetWorld Systems would grow faster than Firewall Systems, bringing in more revenue within the next financial year.

Once NetWorld Systems was well established, Distribution Central planned to launch other complementary business units, such as storage and training, Frew said.

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