Westcon Spins Off Security Practice

The division is a spin-off from the Tarrytown, N.Y.-based distributor's Nortel Networks-focused Westcon arm, which had a strong security practice that accounted for 55 percent of the division's revenue, said Laurie Usewicz, vice president of the new security division.

The Westcon security division will be available to all Westcon Group solution providers, including those that buy Cisco Systems or Avaya products through the Comstor and Voda One divisions, according to Usewicz. "With no ties to Cisco, Avaya or Nortel, we can create best-of-breed security solutions," she said.

"The opportunity we saw is to leverage the security practice we've built over the last 10 years," Usewicz added.

Westcon's first security vendor was Check Point Software Technologies, signed in 1996, and the distributor now has 14 vendors in its security portfolio. "As we continue to grow that business, the security market will grow. The market forecast for growth rate made sense to create this new structure," , Usewicz said.

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A separate division will allow Westcon to react to changes in the market more quickly, she noted. "For example, [if] HIPAA announced additional requirements on the security side, we can quickly go to market with a health-care bundled solution that resellers can deliver to hospitals and small medical offices."

Westcon has about 800 solution providers selling security products, and those partners reach nearly 10,000 end-user customers, Usewicz said.

Check Point and Nokia are the lead vendors in the division, but the product mix is evenly distributed between all 14 vendors, she said. "That renders to the successes of selling a total solution. Resellers are really focusing in on selling more opportunities into their customer base. I think that's why we been successful in the diversification of our portfolio," she said. "We'll continue to add new vendors. We have many conversations going on as we're speaking here."

Other vendors in the Westcon Security division are Aladdin, Blue Coat Systems, Crossbeam, Enterasys, Fortinet, ISS, Nortel, Radware, RSA, Secure Computing and CipherTrust.