SonicWall’s decision to extend its reach deeper into the networking world, with its own range of switches and a branch solution launched last week, should be seen by the channel as a significant moment.
The security player cut the ribbon on its SD-Branch offering, which provides a single management approach to cover LAN, WAN and security controls. The expectation was that it would appeal to managed services providers (MSPs) looking to help customers provide protection across an ever-widening area.
For the firm’s existing channel base, the addition of the SD-Branch and the launch of a multi-gigabit switch line should be seen as a potential way to add revenues, particularly for resellers that have not been offering networking.
Terry Greer-King, vice-president of EMEA sales at SonicWall, said that for those partners that did sell switches from other vendors, it presented a chance to consolidate with one vendor, something that also appealed to customers. And for those that were fresh to the products, there were significant gains to be made, he said.
“There are up to between 3.5 and seven times the revenue opportunities they have enjoyed with SonicWall and not all of our partners have been supplying to networking,” Greer-King added. “The person who has been providing the firewall now has the opportunity to sell the switch and increase their revenues.”
SonicWall will be incentivising partners to get behind the latest launches and will provide education to make sure resellers are comfortable handling the technology.
Greer-King said the coronavirus had highlighted the need to provide robust branch security as remote workers try to fend off a wave of attacks, with many exploiting health and charity coronavirus-related messages. Cyber criminals are looking to exploit those vulnerable workers who are isolated and could succumb to a virus-related phishing attack.
He added that SonicWall had seen increases in the number of partners that were working with the vendor and it was looking to bring some of those transactional resellers into its programme.
The last few months have seen customers scrambling to get staff working remotely but also securely, and SonicWall has seen demand for firewalls accompanied by growing interest in cloud and remote access solutions.
“A lot of companies have made a small investment and most people have invested in providing more VPN [virtual private network] access on their current firewall structure,” said Greer-King. “That did provide access for home workers, but didn’t create architecture. There have been lots of performance issues.”
He added that channel partners should be talking to customers to find out what their pain points are and to discover what opportunities might be emerging as more firms start to re-engineer their architectures for a future that will include higher levels of remote working.
“Customers will be re-evaluating their approaches and I’m not sure all these people are going to go back to work,” he said. “These are interesting times and those that are going to be agile and adroit will be the ones that will be successful.”