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Bell Micro launches new North American security division

Value-added distributor seeks growth through security and storage solutions

Bell Microproducts Inc., a value-added distributor (VAD) based in San Jose, Calif., last month launched a new security division in North America for its partners.

While the division is new to North America, it is not new for the company. Duncan Hume, who is now the North American security division director at Bell Micro, was previously in charge of the company’s UK security division.

“Launching the security division in the UK first was a matter of acquisition,” Hume said. “Four or five years ago, Bell acquired Open PSL in the UK and we also acquired Ideal Hardware. The company later made the decision to integrate the two security division practices into one.”

Peter Diniz, vice-president and general manager of Bell Micro in Canada, says the VAD has sales offices in Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal and has a vendor list of about 160 suppliers. Of those, Diniz says Bell Micro Canada actively works with about maybe 20 or so on a frequent basis.

The new security division will enable Bell Micro’s existing reseller channel to go back to their current clients to gain more revenue, Hume said.

“In the coming weeks we’ll be reaching out to the reseller community,” Hume said. “We want to educate the sales force to introduce the basic concepts of security and then from there, focus on specific solutions that we have that can address those (business) issues.”

The North American security division will be organized under different security categories to provide more focus for partners. They include: data loss prevention (DLP), anti-spam and e-mail security, e-mail archiving, authentication, secure and remote access, network security and content filtering. For each category, Bell Micro will stock only one vendor’s solution. The reason for this, Hume explains, is to help avoid confusion in the sales process.

“I’d like to focus on one solution for one problem because I don’t want people getting confused by coming to market with five different solutions that all essentially address the need of one problem,” he said.

In addition to these specific categories, Hume also said Bell Micro will have its Security Sales Academy available to its partners. The purpose of the academy, he says, is to educate resellers who may not have much security knowledge and/or expertise so they can better compete in the marketplace.

Hume’s advice to partners is to be well-versed in as many security categories as they can because as he says, “more knowledge is power. The broader their breadth of knowledge, the more opportunities partners will unearth,” he adds.

Diniz says launching the security division as a North American-wide initiative proves the VAD’s commitment to its channel community.

“Out of the gate we want to demonstrate a better buying experience for our partners and also a better relationship with our vendors,” Diniz said. “In order to do this, we want to tighten our relationships with partners. While we’re known for our storage products, in being in value-added distribution, it’s important that we become much more than just a storage distributor.”