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WatchGuard adds more options to FlexPay

Vendor responds to channel feedback to ensure it can provide the flexibility partners are looking for

Channel feedback has prompted WatchGuard Technologies to add support for mix-and-match licensing to its FlexPay programme to help managed service provider (MSP) partners shift to a recurring revenue model.

Toby Jones, senior marketing manager for Northern Europe at WatchGuard, said partners had faced difficulties moving their business model from paid upfront licensing to a recurring revenue model. The vendor had sought to solve the challenge by supporting mix-and-match licensing that “works seamlessly together so partners can migrate their business at their own speed”.

He claimed the FlexPay programme “supports every partners business model”, with options including fixed-term pre-pay, fixed-term pay-as-you-go and zero commitment pay-as-you-go options, although the latter is not available in all regions.

“Our subscriptions payment model allows MSPs to closely time income and payments to preserve cash and enhance profits,” Jones said.

He claimed the vendor’s flexible options enabled partners to purchase products and services in the way that suited their business model, irrespective of whether they delivered service agreements to clients through weighted up-front or evenly distributed across a recurring billing cycle.

WatchGuard’s regional vice-president for Northern Europe, Jonathan Whitley, said the changes demonstrated “the importance of listening to our partners”, which had told the vendor “they wanted to change things so how they are billed better matches how they want to bill their customers”.

He added the vendor had “developed third-party tools to allow us to integrate into cloud marketplaces used by most of our resellers. We anticipate we will be launching this in Q2 2023 for new and existing partners”.

The changes are part of the vendor’s investment in automation and billing options to make life easier and smoother for MSPs, outlined by Whitley in October last year.

WatchGuard made growing its MSP base a strategic focus following Vector Capital’s acquisition of a majority holding in the company in April 2022.

Vector Capital managing director Sandy Gil stressed the importance of MSPs when he argued WatchGuard was “uniquely positioned to lead the market in enabling those MSPs with its Unified Security Platform. We are excited to further invest, both organically and via acquisitions, in the companys mission to deliver to security-focused MSPs one vendor, one platform and one vision to build their business upon”.

WatchGuard is the latest vendor to implement changes to its channel programme in response to partner feedback.

In March, Microsoft announced what vice-president of partner go-to-market, programmes and experiences, Julie Sandford, described as “key programme changes” to its cloud partner programme based on feedback from partners.

Bob VanKirk, CEO at SonicWall, recently highlighted the importance of channel feedback when he argued vendors seeking a strong and successful relationship with channel partners should “listen more, talk less”.

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