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Poulos builds channel in new vendor home

Poulos builds channel in new vendor home

Former F5 managing director talks about his new job at Arcsight and F5's recent decision to sign on a third distributor

Former F5 managing director, Chris Poulos, has been appointed country manager for another network security vendor, Arcsight.

The industry veteran has worked for bothMicrosoft, Lotus Developments and Akimbi Systems during his lengthy IT career and also spent six years at Trend Micro.

Poulos’ time at F5 abruptly ended in early 2009. The managing director role was filled by Kurt Hansen a month later.

Arcsight specialises in security information events management (SIEM). This involves aggregating security data into a central repository for effective threat monitoring within an IT infrastructure.

Poulos has been enlisted to establish a channel presence in Australia and has signed Observatory Crest as its first and only distributor.

“One of the things I look for in a distributor is having good technology players. One-on-one mapping of sales and engineers is critical,” he said. “Observatory Crest is a great pool of engineering resource.”

While the company has been active in bringing on a selected number of resellers, Poulos wanted to keep Arcsight's local channel lean.

“I want to minimise the partner reach at this point in time to very focused players because we need partners with good technical implementation skills and we need people who understand the whole security game,” he said. “We have some managed service providers on board such as Earthwave, Unisys and Alphawest.”

Arcsight has the banking and finance, government and mining sectors in its sights. It is also aiming at the SMB space with a new database security manager (DSM) appliance, Arcsight Express.

“I am asking the channel to take on the responsibility of this product set,” Poulos said.

F5 distribution dramas

Poulos also commented on F5’s recent decision to appoint a third distributor, Westcon, which was met with a heated response from the vendor’s longtime partner, Firewall Systems.

Poulos was unsure of F5’s strategy and the ability of a third distributor to generate more revenue in the local market. While the appointment of Observatory Crest - initiated by Poulos - in the middle of last year also ruffled Firewall Systems’ feathers, the former F5 chief stuck to his guns.

“It was more around corporate governance and we were getting quite sizable at the time and needed to be handled by more than a single distributor,” he said.


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