WatchGuard worries existing distie by signing LAN Systems

WatchGuard worries existing distie by signing LAN Systems

Internet security vendor WatchGuard has disappointed one of its existing distributors by appointing LAN Systems as the company's third Full Master distributor in Australia.

LAN Systems joins Firewall Systems and Dovetail Distribution as WatchGuard distributors, a move John Stevens, business development manager for Dovetail, believes will erode his company's market share without effectively growing WatchGuard's over all sales.

Stevens says the decision is "disappointing" after Dovetail spent three years dedicated to growing WatchGuard's business in Australia. However, he concedes WatchGuard is in the process of finalising its distribution model after the demise of Brocker's distribution arm 1World, which used to supply the product.

The news comes after Firewall Systems was stepped up to Full Master distributor status last month - enabling it to provide training, technical consultation and support for all WatchGuard products. John Labza, Firewall director, is not overly fussed with the appointment of LAN Systems.

"From WatchGuard's perspective I can see what they're doing. They have Dovetail in Sydney, Firewall in Melbourne and now they have a national distributor in LAN Systems," says Labza. "I'd be happier if they didn't."

"It's up to WatchGuard to build the market share to support three distributors," he adds.

One such marketing initiative is a campaign launched by WatchGuard, LAN Systems and Firewall, whereby resellers accrue rebate points based on the number of orders they make. This has added to Dovetail's ill feeling, says Stevens, having been excluded by this program. Dovetail also stocks rival Internet security vendor Sonic Wall.

LAN Systems comes on board to distribute the vendor's entire range of products but has hyped WatchGuard's ServerLock product as key to the appointment.

"A lot of vendors claim to have a 'unique' product. However, in the case of WatchGuard, this claim is true. There's nothing else like ServerLock currently available from any other vendor on the market," says Nick Verykios, LAN System's general manager.

WatchGuard's ServerLock product locks-down both the server file system and the operating system kernel, effectively preventing any changes made to the server, unless it is locally switched to admin mode by an authorised administrator.

Rick Hancock, regional sales manager WatchGuard, was in the US this week and unavailable for comment. He did say in a statement released by the company: "When we were looking for a new distributor, we asked the reseller community which channel services company they would like to work with. LAN Systems was the name we heard suggested again and again."

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