Internet security appliance vendor NetScreen has appointed LAN Systems as its national distributor and will no longer sell its products through Sydney-based distributor Digital Networks Australia (DNA).
NetScreen country manager Ken Tweedale said the company needed to expand beyond its existing distribution agreements with Melbourne-based ChannelWorx and Sydney-based DNA. After some months of discussions with various distributors, he decided to appoint LAN Systems as national distributor, keep ChannelWorx on board, and end the current distribution agreement with NetScreen's other distributor, DNA, who he refused to name in the interview.
It's news to the folks at DNA. Marketing director Munsoor Khan said that at this point in time, DNA is still distributing NetScreen product and is in discussions with the vendor on its future channel strategy. "We still have a valid distribution contract -- neither party has given any notice that it won't be renewed," he said.
Tweedale said that LAN Systems is a leader in the security and networking space. As well as just distributing NetScreen's range of firewall/VPN security appliances, LAN Systems has assisted the vendor in formulating a new channel program and will also assist in training resellers to sell and implement NetScreen products.
The agreed channel model sees NetScreen resellers separated into three tiers. The first tier, Authorised Partners, must have one engineer complete a generic one-day training course as well as sales training run by LAN Systems.
The second tier, Premier Partners, are resellers that want to meet the security needs of medium and large organisations. One engineer will need to complete a five-day course run by NetScreen's certified training partner, Krowten Networks.
NetScreen's largest resellers and integrators will be named Strategic Partners. It will be required that two of their engineers have fulfilled comprehensive training on NetScreen products.
Tweedale said the two remaining distributors will set targets and margins at such a level so that resellers that have committed to completing training will see the most reward. The higher a reseller climbs on the accreditation ladder, the better margins they receive. He is also open to any resellers that have ideas on how to best educate the market about the NetScreen product, and will gladly open up the co-op marketing fund jar if a reseller approaches him with a quality idea. "We will work closely with those partners that have NetScreen Certified Partners," he said. "They will be more likely to get the leads, access co-op marketing funds, and get better support."
Meanwhile, Khan said DNA was reviewing its options for vendor partners, as NetScreen is the only firewall/VPN vendor the distributor carries, and expects to make some significant announcements in the near future.