Websense draws resellers to content management

Employee Internet management firm Websense has signed more than 20 resellers nationwide to its channel training program since opening an Australian office in February.

The developer, which previously operated via a distributor in the region, said the additional presence means greater support and resources for its channel partners. Graham Pearson, regional sales manager for Asia-Pacific, said Avnet, Dimension Data, BCA IT, Zento, Fujitsu, Regal IT and Alphawest 6 have signed to the vendor's channel partner program.

"We deliberately chose these resellers because they have better focus than the EDSs and CSCs of the world. [EDS and CSC] still sell our products but you're never going to get 100 per cent of their focus."

Pearson said Websense is 100 per cent channel focused, having selected Digital Networks and Alstom IT to act as its national distributors. "There are some very large end-user accounts in Australia that you will never get to [as a vendor] if you don't go through the channel." Websense's activity in the reseller community has spurred its number one competitor, SurfControl, to follow suit, he said. Direct vendor SurfControl has started to explore channel partnerships but Pearson claimed resellers remain wary of a supplier that may also become a competitor in certain accounts.

With the escalating cost of bandwidth and worker productivity receiving more scrutiny, employee Internet management (EIM) has finally made it onto IDC's radar. The IT research firm predicts the market, which was previously counted as part of the security sector, will be turning over around $US700 million by 2004.

"We're enabling our partners to develop the expertise they need to seize this opportunity," said Pearson. He said Australia is slightly more advanced than Northern Europe or the US in terms of installing Internet management policies, and expects Websense to do well out of the EIM segment.