Firewall, Check Point in joint venture

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Niche security distributor Firewall Systems has announced a joint venture to develop managed security services using Check Point Software's technology.

The arrangement would see Check Point deliver the security tools and pricing model and Firewall roll out the required policies and service level agreements (SLAs) to the reseller channel under a managed service.

Speaking to CRN, Scott Frew, managing director at Firewall and business partner Nick Verykios, felt that the arrangement was unique in the local distribution market.

"If we're going to win in this [security] space, we have to create intellectual property that belongs to us," Frew said.

Verykios said that Check Point want to move into the mid-enterprise space where there's a lot of sales opportunity in the security market.

The Check Point deal differs from an existing distributorship Firewall has with managed security services provider Network Box, as in this case Firewall was developing its own managed service.

Frew said the arrangement wasn't about "pinching" from other Check Point distributors LAN Systems and Express Data, but was there to "create value" for the reseller channel.

Scott McKinnel, country manager, Australia and New Zealand at Check Point said the largest market untapped by the vendor in this region is the mid-tier market.

He said that while the company traditional had good traction in the enterprise market through existing relationships with the likes of EDS, Dimension Data, Mincom and IBM, it wanted more business in the 50 to 200 seat arena.

It was beneficial for Check Point to place resources into a focused distributor like Firewall to tap into a new raft of mid-tier resellers, he said.

He claimed the deal complements existing relationships with Express Data and LAN Systems as it would create a lot of demand for Check Point products.

He admitted that it takes a great deal of resources and is costly to train the mid-tier market and was difficult to get "efficient traction".

Check Point's Express CI product, which integrates VPN, firewall, anti-virus and intrusion prevention was aimed squarely at the mid-tier market with Firewall operating the underlying management infrastructure, he said.

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