Dicker Data’s acquisition of Express Data in April 2014 delivered some strong inorganic growth to the business.
Dicker Data’s General Manager for Marketing and Strategy Ben Johnson says “There were a couple of jewels in the crown – this is why we bought Express Data. Cisco was one of them. There was Microsoft and RSA. They were the key pieces why we went after the acquisition”.
He adds that two business complemented one another with Express Data’s strength in the enterprise working in well with Dicker Data’s penetration with SMBs. And the purchase also gave Dicker Data a much-desired foothold in New Zealand.
Jon Christopher, head of channel and alliances for RSA, told us in an exclusive interview that the shift from Express Data to Dicker Data was 'a big concern and potential risk'.
“All of our eggs were in their basket,” he says.
Christopher wanted to ensure the channel and customers were not adversely affected by the change. But those concerns were allayed as Dicker Data kept the same people in place to service the new relationship. Subsequently, the leadership teams of the two organisations have worked to build the relationship between Dicker Data and RSA further.
“[We had a] very strong relationship with the ED team but the speed with which we built the relationship with the Dicker side is very, very pleasing. The other big success we saw was the system integration,” Christopher says.
That was a critical concern for Christopher as shipping and logistics rely on close ties between manufacturers, distributors and resellers.
Having moved through the initial transition, Christopher is now seeing some significant benefits from the changes.
“I think the big benefits we’re seeing from the Dicker relationship now are the broader set of partners we can engage with, the complementary vendors that Dicker now bring to the table over and above the previous ones with ED – these enable us to look at the cross-selling to build complementary solutions. These give us more of a market opportunity”.
Christopher and his team have been working with other partners to deliver complete security solutions for customers. While RSA offers many of the products and services required to build a security operations centre, they don’t have all the pieces. But by working with partners that Dicker Data can bring to the table they’ve been able to expand their footprint through these new relationships that have been fostered through Dicker Data.
“The work we do with Dicker is about understanding and segmenting the partners to really make sure we’re focussing on the right partners, have the right reciprocal relationships and are able to work with them to drive success in the field’” Christopher adds.
Both Chrstopher and Johnson agreed that the channel will need to adapt to the changing security landscape with identity being a key piece of the future of information security.
“All of the businesses working in the cloud… this introduces a range of new security issues, things people haven’t had to deal with before, and new opportunities’” says Johnson.