Bell Micro Launches Security Division

The San Jose, Calif.-based distributor created the unit to complement its storage portfolio, according to Duncan Hume, director of the security division.

"It makes a lot of sense," Hume said. "Look at fairly recent history -- EMC buying RSA, the Symantec-Veritas marriage -- it all points to the convergence of storage and security in a broader sense. That will continue."

Hume ran a successful security division for Bell Micro in the United Kingdom, and is tasked with doing the same here in the U.S.

"Storage inevitably requires confidentiality, integrity and reliability of the data. With the success we've had in storage, we felt adding a security element as a skill set would help our VARs," he said.

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Bell Micro has signed seven security vendors thus far, Hume said, including AEP Networks, Barracuda Networks, Bloxx, Clearswift, Utimaco, SunBelt Software and Vasco Data Security.

"I think they add something in their respective areas to help our VARs offer a strong security offering," Hume said.

The distributor hopes to add more security companies, but in an economic environment in which vendors are cutting distributors, Bell Micro may have to look at smaller or start-up vendors.

"We're trying to avoid duplication. We haven't covered all areas, but we have key areas," Hume said.

The distributor plans to first market its security products toward its storage VARs that haven't explored security yet, Hume said.

"That's the first port of call, to introduce this technology to the current customer base," Hume said. "Adding a new technology angle to an existing customer base is a logical step and a complementary step to storage."

Bell Micro plans to offer first-line technical support on all the products and Hume wants to replicate a successful "security academy" for VARs that the distributor ran last year in the U.K.