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Barracuda Networks: Juggling two different channels a challenge

The challenge for Barracuda Networks' channel strategy is dealing with the different channels, according to Asia Pacific managing director, Jeff Hurmuses.

This is because Barracuda Networks has two sides to its business, security and storage, with one consisting of moving boxes and the other selling a solution.

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Hurmuses adds that the "80/20 rule" is applicable to the vendor when it comes to its channel strategy.

"80 per cent of our business is done by 20 per cent of the channel, so we've been focused on cleaning up partner network and figuring out who is the best type of partner for what region and what product line," he said.

In Australia, the approach has been to build up its channel business because the foundation it was working with was "quite low".

Currently, the Australian market provides 10 per cent of the vendor's business, and Hurmuses views the local opportunity between $8 to $10 million.

"We know what our competition does in Australia, the size of the market, so we know the size of the opportunity as well," he said.

Hurmuses is unable to pinpoint a single driver behind Barracuda's ten per cent figure for Australia, adding that it is "all over the place" and that the vendor has traditionally not focused much on international markets in the past.

The vendor is attempting to change that and has already hired several people in the last six months that Hurmuses characterises as "leaders rather than sales people".

"The sales guy we had in Australia was good but he was still a sales guy," he said.

"What we needed was more leadership and direction to find out where we will be in the next few years."

Hurmuses expects local opportunities to come from archiving and back-up, as well as web application firewalls, adding that "Internet security is experiencing worldwide growth right now."

Big in Japan

Australia is the third largest market for Barracuda, followed by China at 20 per cent and Japan with 30 per cent.

In Japan, Hurmuses said most of the business comes from the security side, as Barracuda has been focusing on that area for the last few years.

"We've had a real push with back-up and archiving, and that is my focus in the Asia-Pacific region," he said.

"Fortunately, that is where we are seeing a lot of the growth take place in our product range in the next few years."

The conflict between Japan and China over islands has meant that the two countries have been spamming each other, which has in turn built demand for Barrcuda's products.

"When that happens we try to put on a sad face, but we're actually making a lot of money," Hurmuses said.

Patrick Budmar covers consumer and enterprise technology breaking news for IDG Communications. Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_budmar.


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