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We’ll stick with two-tier distribution - Barracuda Networks

Hot on the heels of a recent opinion on the long term future of two-tier distribution from Avaya’s country manager, Barracuda Networks  ANZ Sales Manager Greg Douglas says his company has every confidence in the model.

“We’ve just recently added another distributor for New Zealand, in WhiteGold, to improve our reach in this market,” he says.

While the products it provides span the physical and the virtual, Douglas says the ‘knowledge on the ground’ and ability of a distributor to get resellers on board, provide support and expertise doesn’t change, regardless of whether or not boxes are involved.

“Most products today can be delivered as a managed service from the cloud, but for us, two-tier distribution remains a valid and suitable model. We rely on our distributors a lot, because we have multiple types of products; the distributor plays an essential role in replacing faulty units, providing demo units, accelerating our ability to respond to any issues in the field and acting as our personal warehouse.

"That’s a value add which isn’t going to go away, whether the products are virtual or physical,” he adds.

In terms of reach, Douglas says that as a company with operations in 80 countries and with 150 000-odd customers, “We’d never have that reach without distributors. There’s no chance of that falling by the wayside.”

Commenting on the value of the New Zealand market to Barracuda, Douglas says it has experienced growth of 50% (likely off a small base) in the APAC region. “The biggest numbers are coming from our storage products rather than our ‘traditional’ networking stuff; there is massive growth in backup.”

Skating on thin ice, he notes, “With no disrespect, we treat the NZ market like a province of Australia, just because of the similarities in culture and how business is done.  For Barracuda, NZ is an emerging market as we’ve only been here for half a dozen years; we’re dealing with dozens of partners and are getting more registered and on board.”

Douglas adds that Barracuda doesn’t place ‘massive’ requirements on interested parties to become partners; “We sit down with [prospects] and find that there is always something we can do to create and add value.”