SonicWall To Acquire MailFrontier

SonicWall on Wednesday said it plans to buy e-mail security company MailFrontier for $31 million in cash. (Courtesy: CRN)

February 8, 2006

2 Min Read
Network Computing logo

SonicWall on Wednesday said it plans to buy e-mail security company MailFrontier for $31 million in cash.

The deal is expected to close in about 10 days, pending regulatory approval, said John DiLullo, vice president of sales at SonicWall, Sunnyvale, Calif.

Palo Alto, Calif.-based MailFrontier makes antispam, antiphishing and messaging security software and appliances. Plans call for SonicWall to eventually incorporate MailFrontier technology in its line of firewall, Web filtering, remote access and data protection products and services, DiLullo said.

In the short term, however, SonicWall aims to keep each vendor’s products separate. Douglas Brockett, vice president and general manager at SonicWall, said secure messaging and firewall products are essentially separate devices in a network and will remain so for some time. So for now, SonicWall will work to sharpen the compatibility between its products and MailFrontier’s offerings, which is expected to take about six months, he said.

A fully integrated security solution that blends functionality from both vendors would be a much longer-term project, Brockett said. The MailFrontier product suite will be immediately available to SonicWall channel partners.By acquiring MailFrontier, SonicWall can better compete with vendors such as Symantec and CipherTrust, according to Brockett. "The market out there for messaging security is very fragmented right now. This probably has a lot of vendors worried," he said.

MailFrontier has about 100 VAR partners and 1,700 customers, and about 80 percent of the company’s total sales go through those partners, Brockett said. Between 30 percent and 40 percent of MailFrontier VARs are also SonicWall resellers, he said. SonicWall has about 10,000 solution provider partners worldwide. Both vendors have had much success in the midsize-business and enterprise markets, he said.

"[The MailFrontier acquisition] rounds out SonicWall’s product solutions very well. Antispam was one of the only missing components they had," said Koji Mori, general manager of network services at Calsoft Systems, a Torrance, Calif.-based solution provider and SonicWall partner. "I've lost a lot of deals to MailFrontier, so now maybe this is something I can lead with."

THOMAS ZIZZO contributed to this story.

Stay informed! Sign up to get expert advice and insight delivered direct to your inbox
More Insights