VAD Wick Hill is this week celebrating its 35th anniversary. The company started life in the 1970s as a manufacturer, evolving and changing over the years to its current position as a leading international value added distributor, specialising in secure IP infrastructure solutions and convergence, with a predicted turnover of US$80 million.
Notably, in the past, Wick Hill has been an HP distributor and a leading distributor of connectivity solutions. In the late 1990s, the company moved into the security arena, developing this market for both SMEs and enterprises. Wick Hill is now a leading, market-making VAD in this area, having helped establish vendors, such as WatchGuard, in the UK.
In the last eighteen months, Wick Hill has diversified by adding a convergence/unified comms division and is already a prime mover in this area, with vendors on board such as Samsung, Panasonic, Oak, Allot, Gamma Telecom and Sipera. The company now offers a portfolio that covers security, performance, access, networking, unified communications, cloud security and hosted solutions.
Wick Hill’s growth and longevity has been driven by the enthusiasm of its founder and chairman, Ian Kilpatrick, a former CRN channel personality of the year, and Ken Ward, managing director for the UK and Germany. Kilpatrick is adept at spotting significant new technologies and working closely with vendors to bring them to market. This has allowed Wick Hill to prosper and grow, even through several recessions.
Other reasons for Wick Hill’s success include a commitment to selling only fully tested and supported, market-leading, quality solutions, and the provision of a high degree of service and support, as in ‘value-added’
This includes a strong education programme, with custom training centres in the UK and Germany, skilled Wick Hill staff to provide pre- and post-sales technical support, award-winning marketing support, and the provision of reseller leads. Also significant is Wick Hill’s focus on the ease-of-use and business benefits of solutions, rather than just selling the latest ‘hyped-up’ developments.
Kilpatrick, chairman of Wick Hill Group, commented: “I’m incredibly proud of the Wick Hill team who, over the years and through four major recessions, have maintained and grown our sales and reputation. At the same time, they have helped our partners, many of whom have been with us for a considerable part of our history, to grow their businesses. We’ve also had a lot of fun doing so!”