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Security distie Hemisphere Technologies ramps up Kiwi presence

By Heather Wright, Mon 30 May 2016
FYI, this story is more than a year old

Specialist security distributor Hemisphere Technologies will have New Zealand staff within weeks, as the company ramps up its local play and adds new vendors to its mix. 

Andrew Mamonitis, Hemipshere Technologies managing director, says the company is currently interviewing for a New Zealand-based sales manager – the distributor’s first feet on the ground locally.

“We have staff that look after the New Zealand region [from Australia], but we have come to realise – especially as we grow our portfolio and get a lot of traction – that we need to bolster the local support in New Zealand.

“It’s not feasible to have it being run out of Sydney or Melbourne,” Mamonitis says.

“It was ok when we just had a couple of vendors and were very much focused on the Kaspersky’s of the world, but now we’ve got more enterprise-level vendors onboard that we’re really focusing on and getting a lot of traction with, we’ve identified that it’s very important to have a local person on the ground in New Zealand to support our channel.”

Mamonitis says while the new appointment will be a sales manager, there will be the opportunity for them to grow into a ‘fully fledged country manager’ as the company expands here.

The appointment comes as the distributor focuses on an aggressive expansion both in New Zealand and in its home country of Australia.

Mamonitis says Hemisphere Technologies is currently in discussions with a number of vendors, which it is looking to add to its portfolio.

“We would like to have another three or four vendors on our books by the end of the year to round out our portfolio and provide even more value to our channel.”

Mamonitis says the new vendors will be complementary to Hemisphere’s current seven-strong portfolio of AlienVault, BeyondTrust, Edgility, Endian, Kaspersky Lab, Stratus Technologies and Trustwave.

He says the new vendors are likely to be in areas including identity management, backup and disaster recovery, DLT and next generation antivirus.

“We don’t want to have too many and lose that value-add component. We really are focused on the ones we do have and in a lot of cases the vendors don’t have a local presence or rely heavily on Hemisphere for that.

“But we do want to round out our portfolio so we go to channel with an entire security suite that can meet all of their needs.”

Mamonitis says the company is seeing high growth – revenues are on track for triple digit growth this year, with similar expected next year – and it’s not just from the addition of new vendors, with Hemisphere’s long term vendors also seeing high growth.

“Security used to be very much a reluctant sale. But now we’re finding that it’s not just a discussion with the CIO, but the CEOs are very much engaged in these discussions as well and understand the impact of breaches – not just the damaging down time, but also the damage to reputations.

The likelihood of Government legislation mandating disclosure of breaches further down the track is also fueling demand for security.

“There isn’t really a silver bullet. There isn’t a one size fits all. So being able to offer an entire solution to mitigate the risk as much as possible is important,” he adds.

Privilege access management, which helps mitigate the risk around human behaviour, and the Siem market are two key areas of growth for Hemisphere.

The company has also seen ‘strong growth in a very short space of time’ with the Trustwave portfolio, which includes web and email security.

Hemipshere Technology’s plans for the Kiwi market come as it invests heavily in its overall business, with new headcount, new offices and ‘heavy investment’ in its backend infrastructure.

Mamonitis joined the company three months ago from Kaspersky, where he was the managing director for Australia and New Zealand, with Kaspersky’s marketing manager joining Mamonitis in making the move to Hemisphere Technologies.

The distributor has also added four BDMs, and an engineer in Australia, boosting its headcount to 25 – and is still recruiting for additional staff.

“We’ve really raised the calibre of the people we’ve got within the organisation too, to be able to take that next step,” Mamonitis says.

In the coming weeks the distributor will move to a new purpose built facility in Sydney.

Mamonitis says the distributor is seeing dramatic growth across both revenue – which is on track for triple digit growth this year and expected to continue that growth next year – and reseller numbers.

“Year on year we’ve had about a 50% increase in the number of resellers.”

Mamonitis says Hemisphere has acquired new resellers organically as it adds new vendors, and is also seeing ‘a lot’ of growth for existing channel partners.

“The key for us is making sure that we are relevant to our reseller channel and that as a distributor we are actually adding value.

“I think that’s why we are seeing such significant growth in our reseller base – they are seeing that value add from us that they don’t necessarily get from others.”

Mamonitis says Hemisphere Technologies will be taking to the road soon with a roadshow heading this way in Q3.

“We have these new vendors on board and have a great story to tell,” he says.

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