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BitDefender expands in Canada

A Romanian-based security company wants to expand its toehold in Canada.

BitDefender, a division of Softwin, which has two small distributors here, is looking for mid-sized distributors to carry its line of desktop, e-mail and server intrusion defence software.“We’re looking for distributors to get into large retail chains and the SME sector,” Mihai Radu, BitDefender’s worldwide communications manager, said in a telephone interview last week.
In addition, it’s trying to find IT services companies, consultants and Internet service providers to carry the firm’s 22 products.
With sizable sales, the software company will be able to approach broadline Canadian distributors, Radu said.
What he can offer resellers is better margins than most of the security companies in the market, he said. He wouldn’t give details, saying they will be negotiated on a “case by case basis.”
Other aids for resellers include marketing funds, account protections, special discounts for important deals as well as free training and technical support.
However, Peter Firstbook, a antivirus industry analyst with Gartner is skeptical the company can make headway here, with competition from Symantec, McAfee and Trend Micro among others.
“And the elephant in the room is Microsoft,” he added, “which is moving into this market sometime next year, and it has been pretty clear it wants the price (of desktop AV) to come down because people aren’t buying.”
The company makes “reasonab-
ly good” products, he said, but will have a tough time getting into corporate markets.
BitDefender’s existing distributors AB Pro Computer Services of Vaudreuil Dorion, Que., and Tallgrass Ranch of Hazelride, Man. Tallgrass could not be reached for comment.
Andreas Bub, president of AB Pro, said his 13-month-old firm only sells BitDefender online so far. Buyers download the applications from the BitDefender corporate Web site, after which AB Pro forwards a key by e-mail.
So far he’s had only “a few sales,” from computer users searching the Web or word of mouth, mainly because AB Pro hasn’t done any marketing or advertising. That will start when his Web site has been updated so buyers can purchase the software from him. Sales of boxed software could come later depending on sales volume.
Well-known in Europe, BitDefender’s line-up includes 22 products including anti-virus protection for desktops, Microsoft Exchange, as well as for Windows and Linux file servers. There are also some versions for Unix.
A version ISPs can use for themselves as well as for selling desktop protection to end users will be available shortly.
The company has no limit on the number of Canadian partners it wants.