CRN Exclusive: Westcon Deepens North American Security Portfolio With New Gigamon Alliance

Distributor Westcon-Comstor is expanding its relationship with Gigamon, the developer of network visibility and traffic monitoring technology, adding the Gigamon platform to its product line card in North America for the first time and giving solution providers an opportunity to boost their security sales.

The platform is built to work with security products from vendors including Cisco, Palo Alto Networks, ForeScout, FireEye, Check Point Software Technologies and Blue Coat (now owned by Symantec), allowing service providers to more clearly monitor and manage network traffic and help them to make real-time strategic decisions that save both time and money.

For Westcon partners that don't already work with Gigamon, the deal presents an opportunity to increase security sales revenue by 20 percent, said Carol Giles Neslund, vice president and general manager of Westcon’s security practice.

[Related: Veteran Channel Exec Bast To Lead Westcon-Comstor Partner Program]

"If they are selling Cisco, Palo Alto, ForeScout, FireEye, Check Point [and] Blue Coat – and not Gigamon, they are missing out on revenue, and so we are excited," she said. Prior to this, Westcon distributed Gigamon's products only in Latin America and Asia Pacific.

Barbara Spicek, channel sales vice president at Gigamon, said the Santa Clara, Calif.-based company provides network administrators with a higher level of network visibility, making the management of their network more efficient and allowing them to more effectively utilize traditional security products.

"We provide a network visibility that allows network administrators to see what is going on in the network, … it really allows for better network management and security. … You can't protect what you can’t see," she said.

Solution providers can see the potential benefits.

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"Having visibility allows us to look at our client's needs and build complete solutions," said Tom Brueck, vice president of business development and marketing at Advantel Networks, a San Jose, Calif.- based Westcon partner, of the Gigamon technology.

"No security product can stand alone," Brueck said, noting that Gigamon's solution could become a solid addition to the security products that he already sells in the marketplace.

Gigamon has been building partnerships with a "tremendous network," of security vendors, Spicek said, and developing integrations with their products for its platform since it launched, amassing a group of 45 vendor-partners that Gigamon calls its Ecosystem Alliance Partners.

Gigamon also works with those partners to develop use-cases for their joint offerings.

"This is an exciting deal for us. Westcon is the leader in security, and their channel partners that are carrying multiple security tools are the ones that can really benefit the most from a partnership with Gigamon," Spicek said.

Brueck said deals like this are one of the main benefits of having Westcon as a distribution partner. While solution providers like Advantel Networks are diving deeper into new areas like security, Brueck said it can be laborious to test each product a company might want to add to its portfolio. When Westcon adds a new product, he knows the legwork has already been done and his company can immediately begin offering it to customers.

With the latest agreement, Gigamon will be introduced to over 600 VARS within Weston’s partner base that the company currently does not work with, Spicek said. Gigamon hopes to expand its own partner base with 100 new systems integrators and VARs through demand generation activities.

In 2017 Gigamon will provide more sales guides, education and training programs, and other partner enablement resources, which Neslund said Westcon would support.

The new Westcon-Gigamon relationship "is a tremendous complementary sale and I think that is key to solution providers that are looking to go to market and bring a total solution," Neslund said. "This is a critical component of that total solution that makes the security solution for the end-user more effective."