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'Evolution not revolution' for new WatchGuard ANZ boss

11 Sep 14

WatchGuard's new country manager for Australia and New Zealand is promising 'evolution, not revolution' as he takes over the security vendor's top role locally.

David Higgins stepped into the role yesterday, following the departure of Pat Devlin in July.

He says all changes will be done with channel partners – and their investments – in mind.

“We know our partners make a major investment in the technologies [they represent], and they don't want revolution, they want evolution that protects their investment.

“We'll be providing minor update to our channel partner programme, where it helps them.

“But there will be no radical changes, no shake up.”

Higgins isn't new to security, having spent two years with Trend Micro covering channel, medium and enterprise accounts, and eight years as director of sales for Sophos.

Most recently he was director of Baringa Management Services

“Security has always fascinated me. There is constant change and there are always new threats out there and it's up to companies like us to look out for them and keep our customers safe.”

Higgins says a strengthening Kiwi economy and the move to cloud, is helping make New Zealand a potentially very strong market for WatchGuard.

“The growth in New Zealand as an economy is leading the world at the moment. Exports have increased dramatically and the economy is strong.

“And that potentially makes New Zealand a stronger target for bad guys – which is an opportunity for our partners.

“New Zealand is also incredibly innovative and we see a lot of movement to the cloud or managed services. New Zealand businesses are moving rapidly to having specialists manage things for them as a managed service, which will drive our service provider business in New Zealand.”

The company's managed security service provider (MSSP) enables customers to pay per month for the service provider to deliver the necessary security service against SLAs.

Higgins says it's a growth market for the company, particularly in New Zealand, and goes 'hand in glove' with the idea of cloud.

“New Zealand is ahead of this market [Australia] in terms of uptake of MSSP.”

WatchGuard recently signed three new MSSPs locally, with NorthCloud, Network Edge and Manux joining the programme.

However, he says there's still plenty of room for resellers focusing on the sale of on-premise appliances and software.

“It may seem like the whole world is moving to cloud, and certainly it is a big movement, but a much larger proportion are still buying and running infrastructure in their own premises.”

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