Westcon has been granted access to F5’s entire range of products across Australia and New Zealand. While this is a new arrangement, the distributor already has relationships with new F5 in other seven countries.
“It is always a desire of Westcon’s to work with vendors right across the globe,” Westcon sales director, Leigh Howard, said. “We have a global capability to transact for integrators on behalf of vendors worldwide and we had an agreement with F5 to do that so this is a natural extension.” Westcon’s acquisition of Datastor, a NZ-based distributor, in October and its experience in the datacentre unified application delivery and data management space, made the distributor a valuable addition to F5’s channel line-up, according to the vendor.
But F5’s former sole distributor, Firewall Systems, was cynical about its new stablemate. The company also voiced discontent over the vendor’s appointment of boutique player, Observatory Crest in June, claiming it created unhealthy competition.
“We’re terribly concerned because the trend is, and it’s not just Westcon, but global distributors getting appointed once we do a good job in growing the vendor and come in to take our business,” Firewall Systems marketing manager, Nick Verikyos, said. “But if the vendor feels it needs to do that, we have to move on and live with it.”
While grudgingly accepting F5’s decision, Verikyos claimed introducing yet another competitor will do little to expand the vendor’s marketshare as distributors will cannibalise each other’s clientele.
“In reality, the business doesn’t grow and there is less for everyone,” he said. “I’m hoping this doesn’t become the case.”
Verikyos conceded Firewall Systems has lost a small amount of business to Observatory Crest since June but was confident it could maintain good marketshare despite Westcon’s presence.