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IT security distributors aren’t doing enough to service end-user needs – new survey reveals

Research by Alpha Generation exposes reseller concerns as just 10% say distributors truly understand end-user challenges

Nottingham, UK; 1st November 2017 – More than half (59%) of IT security resellers in the UK think distributors are not doing enough to support them, according to a new report by proactive security distributor Alpha Generation Distribution.

Only a third of resellers questioned think the distributors they’re working with are trustworthy and value building genuine relationships with their partners, while only 22% think they focus on long-term proactive security. Just 10% say distributors truly understand end-user needs.

Chris Walsh, Sales Director at Alpha Generation said. “Our findings confirm the need for security distributors to think like a reseller, and that means better understanding end-user challenges and finding the right products and services to match. This is critical if we as an industry are to keep up with the ongoing battle against cyber attackers.”

When asked what the biggest IT security concerns are for end-users, most (89%) resellers say data or intellectual property loss via a hack, followed by ransomware (86%), malware (67%), phishing (56%) and Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS) attacks (42%).

“But, while ransomware is prevalent at the moment, there’s no doubt another, new security threat will come along that will need to be tackled,” Chris added. “That’s why Alpha Generation is partnering up with some of the most advanced security solutions on the market, such as our recent collaboration with Bromium, to ensure we can stay on top of end-user demands via our network of carefully selected resellers.”

The report found that 37% of resellers think understanding end-user demands is the most important factor when partnering with a new vendor and a third are most likely to use a vendor if its product fills a gap in their current portfolio. Integration is therefore key, with distributors needing to be open to collaborating with other distributors to provide resellers with a complete solution that will overcome the objections from their end-users.

Chris added: “A strong channel relationship involves helping partners find complementary technologies to improve their portfolio and providing enhanced marketing support. The ideal distributor would offer value-add services, offering relevant solutions that complement one another and cover commodity-type sales.”

As well as offering pre-packaged solutions that address end-user concerns, distributors should offer resellers ongoing training on these new technologies, helping partners explain to end-users why they’re essential to improve their business’s security. These packages should be presented with a healthy margin to partners who are proactive, while at the same time provide a simple transactional run rate margin to those who are not.

One of the resources resellers noted as being most useful to aid their sales efforts are boxed marketing campaigns. Over half (54%) say boxed marketing campaigns would help them generate leads, yet 16% have never used one to promote their vendors. Of those that think such campaigns are useful, 14% say they should be supported by other marketing activities.

Other key insights

  • 22% of resellers think having a subscription-based delivery model is essential for addressing end-user demand
  • 60% favour hybrid on-premise and cloud-based security solutions
  • 41% of resellers think distributors are already helping them keep up with the latest and most relevant technology
  • Only 11% think a vendor’s reputation or recommendation from others in the industry is a good reason to offer a particular security solution
  • 57% said customers are considering endpoint security as their primary IT security solution, followed by network/perimeter security (31%).

“Distributors should be examining the real reasons end-users are buying their solutions, working backwards to create simple but targeted marketing plans to share with their other partners,” one unnamed reseller said. “In an ideal world, the distributor would be able to offer presales support for the solutions and act to police the vendors into good behaviour.”

ENDS

Research Methodology

Alpha Generation questioned a focused group of managed service providers, value added resellers and systems integrators in the IT security space about the relationship they feel they have with their distributors and where they feel they need more support. The group of respondents included senior managers, directors, and sales and support engineers, offering a valuable overview of the reseller space.

About Alpha Generation Distribution Ltd

Alpha Generation Distribution is a 4SEC Group company providing value-added distribution to the UK IT channel. Founded in May 2013, it has a strong background in IT distribution and specialises in proactive security solutions. Alpha Generation works on a foundation of product knowledge, channel building, marketing support and personal expertise to deliver tangible value to the channel. Visit: https://www.alpha-gen.co.uk

For more information or interviews, please contact:

Clare Homer, CFH Media
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