SonicWall Refines Program, Fires Up SMB Technologies

SonicWall plans to spend the coming year leveraging technologies from the three startups it acquired in 2005 to address the needs of small and midsize businesses. The company also has

April 21, 2006

4 Min Read
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SonicWall plans to spend the coming year leveraging technologies from the three startups it acquired in 2005 to address the needs of small and midsize businesses. The company also has adopted new program designations to meet the evolving needs of its channel.

At SonicWall’s Peak Performance partner conference in Las Vegas last week, John DiLullo, vice president of worldwide sales at SonicWall, said the Sunnyvale, Calif.-based vendor will continue to focus on secure backup and recovery, unified threat management (UTM) and secure content management products that address regulatory compliance and combat threats such as spam and phishing.

DiLullo outlined new opportunities arising from SonicWall’s addition last year of continuous data protection (CDP) technology from Lasso Logic, Ekoo’s SSL VPN solution, and messaging security technology from MailFrontier.

In particular, the SSL VPN solution obtained from Enkoo, San Jose, Calif., has seen “unbelievable adoption” over the past year, due in large part to its $595 list price, DiLullo said. “I’ve heard it said that [SSL VPN] will be SonicWall’s iPod,” he said.

Tim Coker, consulting practice leader at Vertical IT Solutions, a Tampa, Fla.-based SonicWall Gold partner, said Enkoo’s SSL VPN technology should enable SonicWall to better address SMB customers because the technology hasn’t previously been available to that market at such a low price point.SonicWall’s integration of San Francisco-based Lasso’s CDP technology into an appliance line provides an alternative for SMBs frustrated with tape backup solutions, DiLullo said. “Partners have a great opportunity because not many SMB customers are happy with their tape backup solution.”

The CDP line of appliances add a lot of value, but in this early stage of their development, the lower 1440i and 2440i models lack RAID, said Deepak Thadani, president of SysIntegrators, a Woodside, N.Y.-based solution provider. RAID is a category of disk drives that use a combination of two or more drives for protection against hardware failure and to boost performance.

Coker said he’s having a tough time selling the CDP appliance to prospects that don’t see the benefit of paying extra to have their data backed up off-site. “Maybe if they brought the price down it would be more feasible,” he said. SonicWall’s CDP 1440i appliance is $1,999.

The February acquisition of Palo Alto, Calif.-based MailFrontier allows SonicWall to bring high-end antispam and antiphishing features to the SMB market, said Doug Brockett, vice president and general manager at SonicWall. At its partner event, SonicWall showed off an SMB-positioned e-mail security appliance that incorporates technology from the MailFrontier acquisition. The appliance is due in May. “What drew us to MailFrontier was their powerful, easy-to-use solution and their ability to apply the same level of sophistication for the SMB market as they do for the enterprise,” Brockett said.

Also last week, SonicWall disclosed four new partner classifications.

The SonicWall Solution Provider designation is meant to replace the term VAR and will look much like the vendor’s Medallion program, DiLullo said. “We’ve lowered the bar for getting in the program but will add tighter enforcement around requirements for staying in,” he said.The SonicWall Value Added Merchant category was created to meet the business requirements, including Web referrals, of partners such as online retailers and catalog retailers, DiLullo said. “It’s a great way for these partners to amplify their electronic capability,” he said.

The SonicWall Consulting Partner designation is for solution providers that only want to recommend SonicWall products, not sell them. These partners will have access to technical support and collateral and knowledge-base information, DiLullo said.

“We don’t sell SonicWall boxes anymore, but we do influence a great deal of business, and they’ve figured out that they’re going to have to find a place for us,” said Kevin McDonald, vice president of business development at Alvaka Networks, Huntington Beach, Calif.

The new SonicWall Authorized Distributor designation gives the vendor’s four authorized distributors certain privileges in return for sharing product and market-sensing information. “Sometimes it feels like there are more than just four distributors for SonicWall, so we’re going to be putting some fences around it,” DiLullo said.

SonicWall also announced a new tool partners can use to manage license renewals.This represents an opportunity for small solution providers to keep track of revenue that all too often falls between the cracks, said Ron Culler, CIO and COO of Secure Designs, a Greensboro, N.C.-based partner. “Tracking renewals has always been a big issue that can lead to loss of recurring revenue as well as the customer relationship,” Culler said.

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