NetWrix mounts challenge to Quest

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Dell’s 2012 acquisition of IT management software vendor Quest Software has left many resellers feeling “undervalued, disillusioned” – and on the lookout for alternative software providers.

That’s according to Aidan Simister, who heads up UK&I operations for US change auditing and compliance software vendor, NetWrix – which has signed up three of Quest’s top UK partners in the last year: DBL Software, PNL Tools and Networks Unlimited.

Simister claims Quest’s channel relationships were already strained due to the vendor’s mixed direct and channel sales model, and “the Dell acquisition of Quest simply compounded the problems.”

He maintains that while Quest has promised change, there has been little evidence of this: “These partners that had built their entire businesses around selling Quest were feeling even more undervalued and disillusioned than they were before…Dell claims to be making great efforts to get its channel ‘house in order’; it appears that its partners are beginning to lose patience.”

The exec – who earned his channel stripes at Sophos, Wick Hill and security reseller AIS – reckons mounting competition from the likes of NetWrix, ManageEngine and a number of SIEM vendors, now means more choice for resellers.

Founded in 2006 by former Quest employees, NetWrix is a relatively unknown quantity in the UK. However in the US it was ranked the 33rd fastest growing software vendor in the Inc. 500 in 2012, and an estimated 18 percent of all IT departments use its software in some form.

Simister has now been tasked with growing NetWrix on this side of the pond, and has been working to grow its UK market share for the past 18 months, signing up partners such as Softcat, Phoenix, Trustmarque, HANDD and SoftwareONE.

The firm is particularly looking to recruit partners reselling Microsoft into the midmarket, enterprise and public sector. Simister hopes to tempt them with a lucrative deal registration scheme where partners retain 30 percent on any deal.

“Many deal registration programmes consider deal protection as getting a small percentage more margin than the competition,” says Simister. “And where there are so many box shifters in the channel and non-registered partners on other deal reg programmes will quite happily make just 5-10 percent, meaning the partner that is apparently protected is only able to retain 15-20 percent, which to my mind is not enough, and not protection.”

Simister maintains there’s a gap in the market unfilled by established players like LogLogic and LogRythm, describing many of their auditing and monitoring solutions as too complex and costly, with firms lacking the budget or the time to implement them.

Christine Horton

Christine has been a tech journalist for over 20 years, 10 of which she spent exclusively covering the IT Channel. From 2006-2009 she worked as the editor of Channel Business, before moving on to ChannelPro where she was editor and, latterly, senior editor.

Since 2016, she has been a freelance writer, editor, and copywriter and continues to cover the channel in addition to broader IT themes. Additionally, she provides media training explaining what the channel is and why it’s important to businesses.