Channel Post speaks to Florian Malecki, the International Product Marketing Director at SonicWall, about the company’s new SonicWall University initiative
Since spinning off as an independent company, what have been the major achievements of SonicWall?
Since the spin-off, SonicWall continued its march towards business growth, new products and solutions, and partner expansion. Most recently, we launched our new partner program, SecureFirst, which registered 20 percent new partners to reach a total number of 10,000 in our fist 150 days as an independent company.
We launched new solutions, namely our Next-Generation Email Security with Capture Advanced Threat Protection to Address Zero-Day and Advanced Threats and Mobile Access 1000 Series OS 12.0 to Bring High Availability Security to Mobile Business Networks.
And to enable our channel partners to address critical new cyber threats including ransomware, encrypted communications (SSL/TLS) and email threats, we introduced global marketing to assist them and empower their businesses.
SonicWall named cybersecurity and networking veteran Bill Conner as its President and CEO. Conner previously served as CEO of Silent Circle and CEO of Entrust as well as President of Data Networks and then President of Enterprise Networks at Nortel Networks.
Tell us about SonicWall University. What sort of courses or programs does it plan to offer?
Many small and mid-sized businesses (SMBs) rely on partners as IT consultants to help them put the technology in place to detect and protect against breaches. This requires our partners to maintain real-time awareness of the constantly shifting threat landscape, a tall order that our partners have filled laudably. Still, many have expressed a desire for more real-time focused education that would help them provide the best possible advice based on a complete understanding of today’s current threats and technologies.
To meet this need, launched the SonicWall University, which is an extension of SecureFirst. The university helps us to more quickly and effectively communicate insights we have learned from our Global Response Intelligence Defense (GRID) Threat Network to the partner community.
Partners can access the SonicWall University curriculum through a web-based platform and will receive specialized training and accreditation tailored to their role as a salesperson, systems engineer or support team member. In addition to our curriculum, we’ll be sharing content from trusted industry sources as well as our partners themselves to ensure that the full breadth of current knowledge is distributed rapidly and more efficiently.
How will SonicWall onboard channel partners into the SonicWall University? Is there a selection criteria?
SonicWall University is available globally at no cost to partners registered in the SonicWall SecureFirst Partner Program.
Tell us about the key pillars of the SonicWall SecureFirst Partner Program?
The SecureFirst Program is a two-tier program with Value Added Distributors, and three partner tiers: register, silver and gold. We have other programs aimed at recognizing partners by helping achieve higher profitability in their business.
The SecureFirst Reward for Value Bonus is an exciting way for our partners to be recognized for driving critical business initiatives for us. This new discount affords our partners’ even greater profitability and higher margins per transaction than ever before. The Reward for Value discount can be applied above the suggested base discount and above the Deal Registration discount.
Our SecureFirst Deal Registration program is considered to be one of the most valuable components of our Reward for Value program. When partners uncover net/new incremental opportunities for us, we want to acknowledge and reward that partner with an additional 8% discount. In the new SecureFirst partner program, the minimum deal threshold is US$7,500 (manufacturer’s suggested retail price MSRP) and is intended for opportunities that have not been identified by SonicWalSecureFirst Deal Registration.
We have a Marketing Development Fund (MDF) program enables partners to take advantage of marketing funds in support of demand generation and training opportunities that are mutually beneficial to SonicWall and its certified partner community. SonicWall’s MDF program is available to all partners who are at Silver or Gold levels in the SonicWall Secure First Program.
Are both the Sonicwall University and the SecureFirst program available to all channel partners in the region?
First and foremost, to become a SecureFirst partner, a partner must accept the SonicWall SecureFirst Partner Program Terms & Conditions found at http://www.sonicwall.com/partners. The SecureFirst partner program is an invitation only program. Once the Terms & Conditions are accepted partner will then be invited to join the program at one of the three tiers.
Once part of the Securfirst partner program, SonicWall University and all the other tools, resources, deal registration, MDF access, etc. become available to partners.