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The attraction of the single tier approach

Crowdstrike and SecureAuth are both security vendors and have both recently taken the decision to move away from distribution

One of the most highly populated areas in the market is the security world with established and start-up vendors jostling to be the chosen technology that will help keep customers secure.

The volume of players has put some strain on distribution because it was inundated with potential suppliers and given the task of doing sue diligence on numerous firms claiming to be offering the next big thing.

Although distribution was going through challenges so were some of the vendors as they tried to settle on the right routes to market.

The traditional approach of a foreign firm pitching up in the UK, serving resellers and then turning to distribution when things hit a critical mass is not for everyone.

Network breach prevention specialist CrowdStrike has chosen to step back from distribution in the UK, although it plans to use it elsewhere in the Middle East, because it felt that it could provide a better focus for resellers working with them directly.

Another example comes from authentication player SecureAuth, which had worked with Exclusive in the past but currently has a single tier approach.

Executives at both firms talk about 'focus' and 'flexibility' being some of the benefits that come from a single tier approach. That might not be unusual but given the size of the firms the move away from distribution does go against the general flow.

Mike Carpenter, head of global sales and field operations at CrowdStrike, is on the hunt for more partners but is not looking to get them through a distribution relationship.

"We removed distribution in certain parts of EMEA," he added "Resources have been raised and we increased channel resources to do a better job of enablement."

"We don't need the hardware storage or the logistics and we can drive more value into the channel when we invest directly," he added.

Larry Kraft, vp of global channels at SecureAuth, is in a similar position having worked with distribution but for now having pulled back from the second tier.

The authentication specialist is not ruling out that situation changing in the future: "Distribution will be a part of our go to market strategy".

Both firms are looking to increase the size of their channel networks and are being buoyed by the demand for data security solutions by customers trying to get on the right side of GDPR compliance.

"We have seen some great quality out there [in the channel]," added Carpenter "We have had to hire a few more people and are seeing a massive increase in success."

At SecureAuth Kraft has been responsible for formalising and establishing its partner programme and is still on the lookout for additional talent.

"My philosophy is that if we value our channel our channel strategy then it is not just about going to sign more partners. Let's not just sign anybody," he said.

Read more on Channel Partner Programmes

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