Blue Coat puts distributors under the microscope

Blue Coat puts distributors under the microscope

WAN application vendor reviews distributor ranks and rolls out new Blue Touch partner program

WAN application vendor, Blue Coat Systems, will review its distribution line-up following its acquisition of Packeteer last month.

Blue Coat country manager, Peter Owen, said the assessment will focus on how it deals with its distributors and how the model is going to work moving forward.

"The thing we need to deal with is the distributors we've come across as part of our acquisition. We've had a number of conversations with our distributors, so they're all aware of it," he said.

Blue Coat distributors include Firewall Systems, ComputerLinks and Westcon Group, which also distributes Packeteer.

Packeteer also works with Express Data. Blue Coat announced its intentions to acquire Packeteer for $US268 million in April.

"We want to make sure we've got the best model going forward that adds the most value to everybody's business," Owen said. "It's a process we're defining now and as part of that we'll be working hand-in-hand with current distributors."

Owen hoped to have the review process finalised by November 1.

"We don't sell direct, everything is through the channel and we want to make sure that we get that right," he said.

Blue Coat is also rolling out new a channel program called Blue Touch, which is focused on providing partners with service and support. It has three levels - Authorised, Premier and Elite.

Premier partners are required to undertake training and obtain a number of qualified systems engineers and sales staff. They will also have access to evaluation equipment.

Elite partners need to meet financial targets and undertake more rigorous training. In return they will receive sales, marketing and services support from Blue Coat.

"There are a whole lot of qualifications for our partners to provide services and it also offers a certain level of protection for partners that are putting in the investment," Owen said. "There will be a big focus on partners that have been selling Blue Coat and Packeteer. A really big effort will be made to educate Packeteer or Blue Coat partners that currently don't sell either product."

Blue Coat vice-president Asia-Pacific, Matthew Young, said its global reseller numbers had doubled from 1000 to 2500 since the acquisition.

"At the same time we picked up an additional 50 worldwide sales teams and we've effectively doubled our personnel in Australia to 20," he said.

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