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SonicWall Launches Professional Services Program for Partners

The new SonicWall program will co-develop professional services with the designated professional services partners, and then make the services available to all partners through a SKU, with the implementation done by a local professional services partner. By Mark Cox,

SonicWall has rolled out its Partner-Enabled Security Services Program. While a limited number of partners with mature professional services program will actually be involved in implementing the services, any SonicWall partner can sell the services, and engage the designated professional services partners to do the implementation.

“This is a new element of our partner program, which is going great,” says Steve Pataky, senior vice president of worldwide sales and channel and chief revenue officer. “We have migrated all the Dell partners to our SecureFirst Partner Program, and picked up a lot of new ones, and now have over 18,000 globally.”

Pataky says that developing a strong professional services capability within the program had been a top priority, with it being an essential prerequisite that partners be the ones providing the services, not SonicWall.

“We had always planned to offer this capability on top of our core program, and do it in a way that we, as a 100 percent channel company, would work with partners to deliver the type of professional services that are required in the market,” he says. “We have retained a small number of persons with a very strong professional services background. But we didn’t want to do it ourselves. We wanted to enable our channel to do that. We didn’t want to create a professional services motion that would compete with the channel.”

Through the Partner-Enabled Security Services Program, SonicWall works with the professional services partners to decide what professional services are required, co-develop appropriate offerings with them, and then promote them to the market.

“The program itself is limited to partners with deep professional services backgrounds,” Pataky says. “However, once the professional services offerings are completed, we SKU them. The rest of our channel can have access to those services and sell them, and they are delivered through the services partners.”

The number of professional services partners will be driven by demand, to provide the necessary regional coverage.

“We aren’t trying to take a lot of our partners and turn them into professional services specialists,” Pataky says. “We are working with partners who have established services practices. We know we have enough of them already in our partner base. It's all about identifying partners with those capabilities, although we will offer further training through the program.”

Pataky says that SonicWall thought long and hard about how to best articulate this services proposition to the market.

“One of the benefits of the way we have designed this is that the professional services partner agrees to the scope of work, delivers that on behalf of the selling partner, and then they are out,” he indicates. “The customer remains the customer of the partner who sold the service. We expect, though, that in about 30 percent of engagements there are follow-on services that they can deliver to the customer. This puts whole the partnering ecosystem to work.”

Remote implementation was the first service to be launched, co-incident with the launch of the program. Pataky, who had just returned from SonicWall’s APJ Partner Summit in Phuket, Thailand, says that when this was announced there, partners were very excited.

“One of the partners at the APJ Conference told me that they don’t sell solutions per se, that they sell security—peace of mind in the broadest sense, and that services are a really big piece of that,” he notes.

"Remote implementation was launched first out of necessity, with many customers wanting to deploy in distributed enterprises,” Pataky adds. “Following that will be a Security Health Check Service, in the next four to five weeks. Then we will offer a service around the capacity to inspect DPI SSL with Capture for encrypted threats, where you really need to have the chops to implement that solution. A wireless security service will come after that. Then, we see it continuing to evolve, based on customer needs and what’s going on in the threat landscape.”

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