Despite Cisco's $1 billion buyout of security outfit, IronPort, the security vendor's channel will remain independent for the forseeable future, according to IronPort Australia managing director, Michael Bosch.
"Cisco has committed to running IronPort as a separate business unit, independent of the Cisco banner for a minimum two-year term," he said.
During that period, IronPort's products would not be available to Cisco channels and would not be sold in the Cisco Price List. However, Cisco sales reps would be compensated for helping IronPort sell into Cisco accounts, which Bosch expected would drive revenue through the security vendor's channels.
Nevertheless, IronPort's distributors, ChannelWorx and Unixpac, were less than clear on what would happen after the two-year interim drew to an end.
"Our experience from similar acquisitions is mixed. In some occasions there are no changes but it's not always so," Unixpac managing director, Tom Piotrowski, said. "If Cisco decides to run IronPort as an integrated company there will probably be some changes in the channel that would not favour us."
ChannelWorx sales and marketing director, Paul Oxley, expressed similar concerns but thought it would be business as usual for the foreseeable future.
"There are a couple potential cons to consider, but the pros outweigh them," he said. "The acquisition should provide all the benefit of having Cisco as a financial backer while allowing IronPort to retain its independence. And, in any case, considering how successful the current IronPort channel operation is, it would be bizarre to throw the baby out with the bathwater."
Even with the worries of a potential future channel revamp, both distributors were looking forward to a boost in revenue that they thought Cisco's increased sales capacity would bring.
"With the Cisco sales force tasked to identify opportunities for the channel and the power of the Cisco brand, we should be seeing not less but more activity for our resellers in the near future," Oxley said.