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SonicWall, an Independent Company – Again – Launches SecureFirst Partner Program

Computer Security

Lynn Haber**Editor’s Note: Click here for a list of recent important channel-program changes you should know.**

Now that SonicWall is, today, officially an independent company, with the completion of the acquisition of Dell Software Group by private equity firm Francisco Partners and Elliott Management, the channel-led company hopes to attract both old and new partners to the new SonicWall SecureFirst partner program, also launched on Tuesday. SonicWall also announced 30-year industry veteran Bill Conner as its president and CEO.

SonicWall's Bill Conner“On day one we’re exclusively back to our channels,” said Conner, who told us that the new SecureFirst partner program is a mix of the best from the vendor’s old SonicWall Medallion Partner program and elements of the Dell PartnerDirect program.

While SonicWall will retain its direct-touch resources for key accounts, such as large enterprises, government, or distributed networks or campus environments, 100 percent of fulfillment is through the channel. The company historically has been known to have a tight and loyal relationship with its channel partners.

SonicWall has a traditional channel with about 10,000 partners, worldwide, according to Steve Pataky, vice president of worldwide sales at SonicWall, and for all intents and purposes the company’s channel leader.

“The new SecureFirst Partner Program is not really a new startup program — it’s a new wrapper for a new program that we’re migrating all of our existing partners into,” he said.{ad}

What partners will notice is a new SonicWall website and a new SecureFirst Partner Program portal. Partners will migrate into SecureFirst based on the existing level they are today – as part of the Dell PartnerDirect program – and move into a similar Gold, Silver and Platinum three-tier program structure.

Partners get to pick and chose the level that makes the most sense for their business and the level of commitment and investment they want to make.

“What we’re doing that’s unique is that we’re not throwing up a bunch of new requirements – they’re very consistent with what we had in the past – and we’re giving them [partners] the balance of this year and all of 2017 to meet all of their requirements,” Pataky explained.

In additional to the program’s tiered structure, some other elements include: SonicWall deal registration; MDF; mySonicWall.com; SonicWall Security as a Service; technical and sales training; and, SonicWall Overdrive – for North American partners only, for example.

Partner benefits include …

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… competitive margins and deal-registration protection; reward for value; technical training and sales enablement; and, marketing and lead-generation support, the company said.

Conner also noted that SonicWall services and customer support will be a key area of focus for the company.

“It’s tremendously important in our space especially for small business and mid-tier companies and distributed networks. Our products are world-leading but support is just as important as the product,” he said. Services have been a focus for SonicWall over the past year, he added.

The new CEO also said that the company will double down on its firewall and next-generation features, its cloud-based, zero touch-based management system called GMS (Global Management System) and managed service providers (MSPs), as well as distributed network or campus environment, which he described as an underserved part of the market by SonicWall, and lastly, mobility and IoT.

Founded in 1991, SonicWall has gone through a number of public/private iterations over the years, the most recent as a Dell subsidiary from 2012-2016. SonicWall’s focus is on cybersecurity threats and innovation in next generation network security, according to the company.


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