Stonesoft sets out channel plans for McAfee future

Stonesoft top brass have been discussing their plans for the channel as the company undergoes its integration into McAfee

Next generation firewall and intrusion prevention specialist Stonesoft has been revealing details of its plans for the future of its channel organisation, four months after its acquisition by security giant McAfee was finalised.

Speaking to MicroScope, Stonesoft regional director of the UK and Ireland, Ash Patel, said that the firm continued to work on a number of initiatives independent of its new owners, and stressed that although integration between the two partner programmes is both anticipated and desired, they would continue to run separate channels until well into 2014.

Indeed, he said, Stonesoft is working on major enhancements to its Managed Security Service Provider (MSSP) programme that will see it offer its management console to partners upfront at no initial cost.

“We will offer to partners, upfront, all the tools they need to sell next-generation firewalls and intrusion detection as a service, and after a year they will pay for the portion of the system they are using based on how many clients they have won,” he explained.

This new feature is currently live at a select number of development partners, and Patel revealed that Stonesoft will be pushing it more aggressively into the channel in early 2014.

He also talked up the opportunity presented to partners of both Stonesoft and McAfee thanks to the potential to expand their managed security services offering into a more end-to-end proposition.

“During the next twelve months we’ll see Stonesoft resellers beginning to enter into the McAfee partner programme, giving them access to a much wider portfolio. Stonesoft hasn’t always had the biggest name in the market – which has been challenging – so McAfee brings to the table a much more widely-known brand.

“On the flipside,” he continued, “McAfee has openly admitted that they had had the chance to acquire a number of other firms and chose Stonesoft on the basis of its technology, because of its abilities, high levels of security, and flexibility and scalability … so we have seen a major upturn in interest in our technology from their channel.”

Patel said Stonesoft had already begun to engage with over a dozen McAfee partners on its next-generation firewall product lines, with big names coming over including Caretower and Logicalis.

Read more on Firewall Solutions and Services