Cisco taps Comstor to bring IronPort to Canada

Westcon Canada and its Comstor business unit have rounded-out their Cisco Systems (NASDAQ: CSCO) line-up with the addition of the networking vendor’s IronPort e-mail and Web security solutions.

Comstor is Westcon’s Cisco-dedicated business unit and Dan Forbes, vice-president and general manager of Westcon Canada, said adding the IronPort products was the last piece Comstor needed to add to be able to bring the full Cisco value-proposition to Canadian resellers.

“The agreement for us is incredibly important. It expands our Cisco relationship and assists us in wrapping our security architecture within Cisco’s borderless networks architecture,” said Forbes.

Westcon wanted Comstor to offer IronPort because, speaking with partners, Forbes said they saw a growing need for solutions around data security, protection, loss prevention and compliance. He sees IronPort addressing those security concerns across both the SMB and the enterprise, and within the broader Cisco network architecture.

Adding IronPort will help Comstor partners expand their existing Cisco practices or provide an opportunity to engage with the vendor for the first time, said Forbes. For Comstor, it rounds-out the line-up of Cisco offerings they’re looking to go to market with.

IronPort Systems was acquired by Cisco in 2007, and includes a line of e-mail and Web security appliances designed to protect businesses from Internet-based threats. Susan Don, director of security go to market for worldwide channels at Cisco, said at the moment Westcon/Comstor is the exclusive Canadian distributor for IronPort.

“One reason we selected Weston Canada for IronPort is we wanted a distributor that added value. Many carry everything from paperclips to printers. We’re really happy with how Westcon aligns to our borderless networks portfolio,” said Don.

Cisco sees that value-added as critical to successfully bringing IronPort to market. Westcon will be able to offer financing assistance to help partners with pre-sales demos, and to help partners adjust their revenue models to a cloud-based as-a-service sales method that more and more customers are favouring in this segment.

“Content security as a market is growing in leaps and bounds. Firewall is fairly secure, with incremental growth, but the hockey stick is around content,” said Don. “That’s why we’ve added content security to our security specialization badge (in the Cisco partner program).”

Follow Jeff Jedras on Twitter: @JeffJedrasCDN.

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Jeff Jedras
Jeff Jedras
A veteran technology and business journalist, Jeff Jedras began his career in technology journalism in the late 1990s, covering the booming (and later busting) Ottawa technology sector for Silicon Valley North and the Ottawa Business Journal, as well as everything from municipal politics to real estate. He later covered the technology scene in Vancouver before joining IT World Canada in Toronto in 2005, covering enterprise IT for ComputerWorld Canada. He would go on to cover the channel as an assistant editor with CDN. His writing has appeared in the Vancouver Sun, the Ottawa Citizen and a wide range of industry trade publications.

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