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MSP drive continues at WatchGuard Technologies

Security player has continued to see high levels of channel activity among the managed service provider community

WatchGuard Technologies has been courting managed service providers (MSPs) for a long time, rolling out products and programmes to support that model of channel partner, and the momentum has not slackened over that period.

Not only has interest from MSPs remained high, but it has grown over the course of 2022 as more channel partners opt to add security to their portfolios.

The vendor operates a points reward scheme and using that as a measure of activity, it has seen the interaction on that programme continue to grow.

“Our dedicated MSSP points scheme for channel partners has been really successful and continues to grow at double digits,” said Jonathan Whitely, vice-president for Northern Europe at WatchGuard Technologies.

He said WatchGuard had invested in automation and billing options that were making life easier and smoother for MSPs.

“If people want to have a fixed-term agreement and a monthly billing scheme, we’ve got that and then we’ve started developing more of our systems to fit into the billing mechanisms of our distributors as well,” said Whitely, adding that this would reduce manual interventions and support automatic billing.

“We have also been focusing a lot on making sure that everything we do is optimised to work in the cloud,” he said, pointing out that this had also involved fully integrating the acquired Panda portfolio into the WatchGuard system so that MSPs could manage all the products.

Whitely said the firm was also supporting MSPS on a technical front and making sure its products were also seamless should encourage partners to see more of its portfolio.

“The most successful relationships are the ones that tend to take more of our products, and in an ideal world, we’d like them to be selling all four or five product offerings. From an underlying security posture as well, the more we see, the more we can get a fuller picture.”

WatchGuard’s owner, Vector Capital, made it clear earlier this year that it saw growing its MSP base as a critical part of its strategy.

Speaking back in April, Sandy Gill, managing director of Vector Capital, said: “MSPs represent the future of security delivery, but to be successful, they need a bespoke platform built for their needs.”

Whitely said that if the firm could provide technical and logistical support, it would make life easier for partners and enable them to focus on increasing their revenues.

“MSPs and resellers make money from selling products, of course, but where they really get the value, where they really make the profits, is from the additional services they can offer,” he said.

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