Frank Richmond, a serial channel entrepreneur, has returned to the UK after taking Cirrus Networks public last year, with a turnover of €34m.
Talking to CRN, Richmond said he is looking to mirror that success with his new UK distribution outfit, One Distribution, which will initially specialise in cybersecurity. Having spent 20 years in the reseller market in both the UK and Australia, one of the main reasons for Richmond's pivot to distributor was the "hugely consolidated" distributor market space. Several VADs have been snapped up by large rivals in recent years, leaving a space for smaller distributors to fill in, he claimed. "The marketplace has evolved where the smaller, nimble players have got bigger and we are looking to come and fill those shoes", explained Richmond. Richmond plans to expand his headcount from five to eleven within the next 12 months, and expects to be a "significant force" in the distribution market place within the next three to five years. "We want to work hard and reap the rewards", said Richmond, adding that a "key" element of that work will include hiring the best specialists in the market place. "We'll have technical support specialists looking after our specific vendors that we will be signing. So we will have the capability to enable us to support the channel", he said. To start with, Richmond has already bagged two vendor signings, with Cyren (formerly known as Commtouch, specialised in cloud-based Internet security services) and Skybox Security (cybersecurity management and analytics). "We are further looking at having one lead vendor in each area of cyber security so that we don't have competing vendors in our portfolio", he adds. "The company is specific as to who we will partner with. A scatter gun approach is definitely not the way we work."