**Editor’s Note: Please click here for a recap of the biggest channel-impacting merger and acquisition news from May and June.**
WatchGuard Technologies is buying Datablink, a provider of advanced authentication services, to extend its security portfolio beyond network and wireless security, and to deliver advanced authentication to SMBs and distributed enterprises.
WatchGuard’s plan is to offer Datablink advanced authentication as a fully cloud-based service. It will allow the company’s partners and customers to implement strong authentication for network access, remote network access, privileged user access, SaaS application access and employee workstation access, the company said.
The financial details of the deal were not disclosed.
Prakash Panjwani, WatchGuard’s CEO, tells Channel Partners that multi-factor authentication is a cornerstone of security that previously has been out of reach for SMBs and midmarket organizations due to cost and complexity.
“With this transaction, WatchGuard will be able to add advanced authentication to the company’s portfolio of enterprise-grade security solutions designed specifically to meet the needs of those markets,” he said. “Multi-factor authentication was identified early-on, by both the WatchGuard technology team and our partners, as a very desirable technology to complement our existing portfolio and go-to-market channels.”
The acquisition aligns with WatchGuard’s strategic focus on enabling both its VAR community and its rapidly growing community of MSSP partners.
WatchGuard launched its Technology Partner Program, branded under its WatchGuardONE Partner Ecosystem, in April 2016.
“We will continue to pursue existing opportunities for the existing Datablink solutions, with existing Datablink partners, in the markets where the technology is currently deployed, which is primarily in Brazil,” Panjwani said. “These partners will also have the opportunity to join the WatchGuardONE partner community and sell the whole WatchGuard portfolio.”
WatchGuardONE will be the partner program the company moves forward with, he said.
“Any Datablink reseller who wishes to join the WatchGuardONE partner program and introduce the WatchGuard products into their portfolio is more than welcome to do so,” Panjwani said. said. “We will work to educate them on the certification process, as well as the numerous benefits they can enjoy. However, Datablink partners should understand that they can continue to sell existing Datablink solutions as they do today, without joining the WatchGuardONE program. Current WatchGuardONE partners will see authentication added to the portfolio in [the first half of] 2018 when we launch the new solution, which will be delivered from the cloud.”
“The increased investment that comes with this transaction will accelerate our investment in a cloud-based authentication service that makes simple, widely-accessible advanced authentication a reality,” said Alexandre Cagnoni, Datablink’s CEO and CTO. “Beyond the technology, WatchGuard’s broad ecosystem of established SMB and mid-market VARs and MSSPs will ensure that the service is immediately available to businesses around the world.”