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PROGRESS PLAYS TRUSTED KINGHT IN KEY SECURITY MOVE

Progress Distribution has inked a UK deal with enterprise security firm Trusted Knight, extending its reach into organisations where it claims the traditional detect-and-remove strategies of anti-virus are no longer a viable approach.

Trusted Knight’s product line includes the Protector EndPoint Protection platform – an agent-based technology with a cloud-based management console, for which it charges per end-point in a software-as-a-service model; and its Cloud-DMZ product which protects customers’ websites and web applications by creating a replica of the original site.

“We are excited to be working with Progress Distribution to help us grow our UK Partner Select Channel Program,” said Brooks Wallace, managing director of Trusted Knight.

“We remain a channel-centric vendor in the UK and will be promoting Trusted Knight’s full product suite to the UK market through Progress Distribution’s strategic partners. Our aim is to build, maintain, and manage partner relationships that drive revenue for Trusted Knight.

“Trusted Knight’s Partner Select Program provides the necessary sales, marketing and technical resources to jointly develop a customised business plan to maximise sales results for our partners,” claimed Wallace.

John Quinn, CEO of Progress Distribution, said Trusted Knight joining the distributor’s vendor stable illustrates the firm’s “proactive approach to business development”.

“We are establishing the right type of partner base in the UK for them to accelerate their market adoption, whilst also offering those partners extra support in finding and closing deals,” added Quinn.

SECURITY VENDOR PROMISES SECURITY VARS A "DOOR OPENING" OFFERING!

ProtectWise is hoping to carve a niche in cloud security in the UK and hopes to bolsters its resellers numbers to achieve the aim.

The security vendor, which signed with Progress Distribution three months ago, is hoping that due to the low upfront investment needed to trial its product, it can then snare end-users.

“We are 100% channel. It is our intention to maintain a very light-touch direct sales force – we need the channel to scale. We are working closely with Progress to help us with the reseller recruitment effort, alongside demand generation, reseller training and technical support,” said Harvey.

“Where we are getting the most traction is with those smaller boutique security-focused resellers. It is allowing them to differentiate themselves in the market and we have a healthy number of joint opportunities already.”

Harvey said the firm is looking to work with cloud and digital transformation consultancy who are helping end-users with their journey to the cloud.

“Cloud security is handled differently, so we do need to work with those cloud consultancy to help customers effectively. One of the huge advantages with cloud is that there is no upfront investment in the infrastructure typically,” he said.

“Being cloud-based, it is very easy for us to offer customers a trial. For the reseller, not having to send out any hardware to run a trial makes it very simple.

“It is something different, it is something unique, so it could be seem as a differentiator and a door-opener for resellers when they are talking to customers because we are taking a different approach.”

Harvey predicted that as ProtectWise develops in the UK market, the vendor will start to speak with more generalist resellers and the “volume players” in the channel.

“Getting traction with those sorts of organisations is only going to come when we have some initial customers on-board and we have more visibility in the marketplace,” he added.

'We don't want to hang around': Progress Distribution launches into Germany and Spain

Emerging security Incubator & Distributor Progress, has launched a company in Germany, kickstarted with a Hamburg office and a new German country manager.

Progress was launched last year (August 2016) by John Quinn, in conjunction with a sister company covering the Nordics out of Sweden, but has now taken its first steps in central Europe ahead of further expansions.

Alongside the German launch and manager hire, Progress has taken on a dedicated Spanish regional manager, based in Madrid, as the firm looks to build its presence in Iberia.

Speaking to CRN, Quinn said the portfolio of the European arms will largely be built up of vendors that have a relationship with Progress in the UK, which are looking to move quickly into other European territories.

“Vendors normally look to go to the UK first from their bases in either USA or Asia or Israel and then look typically at expansion into the Nordic territories first and then central Europe”.

“It does seem now that a lot of them are looking to go from the UK straight to central Europe or Benelux region instead of Nordics, so it’s a good next move for us”. he said.

“We’ve already explored it with several of our vendors and out of the 10 or so vendors we have on board, 4/5 would like to be in central and northern Europe already. A couple of them are already in region however,  the haven’t got any feet on the ground which is where Progress can help drive the market in an incubator capacity. They’ve maybe got two or three VARs so we can bolster the VAR community for them but they don’t have specialist trained sales teams to hit the ground running fast.

After establishing the Hamburg office Quinn is looking to take Progress down into Munich, as well as into neighbouring Austria and Switzerland.

The expansion across Europe has come relatively early in Progress’ existence, with the firm barely a year old, but Quinn said the move has been driven by demand from vendors.

“It’s vendor led,” he said. “Vendors are saying we need to expand faster, so we think we need to capitalise on the emerging tech we’ve signed and go for it, rather than hang around”.

“Some would say you have to be in the UK for two or three years [to expand], which is a fair comment, but ultimately let’s strike while the iron’s hot. A lot of the vendors are quite keen to finance it as well so we can grow with them, which is important because it costs a lot of money to enter a country.”

As well as the central European expansion, Progress’ Nordics boss Henrik Kindstedt is also plotting to take Progress into the Benelux region.

Quinn said that other European countries could soon become part of the plans, as well as the Middle East, possible in the form of joint ventures with people based in region.

“Certain people I’m talking to at the moment in other companies will be JVs (joint ventures) between me and them, so it’ll be the Progress brand but the majority will be owned by the individuals that go into country,” he said.

Onwards and upwards – Middle East next!!!

Progress Distribution set to launch incubator following high-net worth individual's investment

Fledgling distributor Progress Distribution is set to launch an emerging technology incubator in London, once it has completed its deal for investment from a high-net worth individual.

Launched last August, 2016, Progress is a specialist security VAD carrying Protectwise, Ironscales and Trusted Knight in the UK.

Progress founder John Quinn told CRN that the distributor is close to agreeing funding of between £2m and £2.5m with a private investor worth around £130m.

Though unable to reveal the identity of the investor, Quinn said a portion of the money, once received, will be used to secure a 10,000 sq ft building in London to house emerging tech vendors as they enter the UK, with the rest of the investment being used to fund two acquisitions.

“Standard distribution is broken and everybody knows this, but no one really talks about it,” he said. “If you speak to the vendors they all want something different because gone are the days when you want distributors for banking and finance, logistics, tax – all the sort of things that come from standard distribution services”.

“There are something like 600 security start-ups in Israel alone and possibly 50% more than that in the US, fighting for some sort of market position in Europe and all starting in the UK.  There is a very large market for incubation services and not just mainstream distribution. The problem with standard distribution, or the broadliners, is they don’t really have the ability to create demand. Tech incubation using demand creation and proactive sales and business development is key to the future of VAD and the VAR’s they work with.”

Once launched, the incubator, tentatively named The Tech Cube, will provide vendors new to the UK with services including office space, sales and presale teams, lead generation, sales and marketing engines, and introductions to UK channel partners – with Progress having strong relationships with Blue Cube, CDW and Proact.

With around £1m of the potential investment set aside for setting up the incubator, the remaining £1.5m has been slated for acquisitions. Quinn revealed he has his sights on acquiring a professional services outfit, with one potential deal being worked on at the moment, and a managed security service provider that he is yet to identify. Both of these will be set up so VARs can white-label the services they offer.

Financing

The third part of the Progress business, alongside distribution and the incubator, is Progress Capital, which provides a financing mechanism that allows vendors to be paid upfront in full for their subscription solutions.

The depth of Progress Capital’s pockets, Quinn explained, means it can afford to front the cost of a vendor’s annual subscription – up to five years in some cases – meaning the VAR and vendor both get their margin on a five-year deal and the customer can pay back Progress Capital’s financial backer on a monthly basis.

“We did this deal with a major bank – I won’t name who it is because our competitors might try and go to that bank and get a similar deal – but we have an unlimited amount of money,” Quinn explained. “It’s a key differentiator for us. [Other VADs] don’t have what we have.

“If you want to exercise the renewal on an upsell, we can turn that one-year renewal into a five-year renewal. That’s times-five revenue for the VAR with their margin, and the vendor, all in one hit.

“Vendors are over the moon because they can times their revenue by five, the VAR is happy because they get paid within five days and has no credit risk nor waiting for payments to be made from the customer – everybody wins.

“If a VAR wants to show massive value to the vendor, they can come to Progress Capital and get a 12- to 60-month payment deal, paid per month, and when you factor in the tax relief at generally 20%, you’d pay [for example] £96,000 on a £100,000 deal because it’s OPEX not CAPEX.

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