IT and Business Insights for SMB Solution Providers

SonicWall Seeks the Bliss of the Predictable

Amid unending uncertainty, the security vendor is keeping surprises in requirements, rewards, and profits to a minimum. By Rich Freeman

AT A TIME of continuing public health dangers, unstable economic conditions, and proliferating security threats, couldn’t we all use a little more predictability in our lives?

SonicWall thinks so, and has since well before the start of this plague-ridden year. Clearly explained, easily understood requirements and rewards have long been a core element of the company’s SecureFirst partner program.

That begins with the quarterly targets SecureFirst’s more than 22,000 worldwide members must hit to cross rebate thresholds, according to HoJin Kim (pictured), SonicWall’s vice president of worldwide channels and North America sales. “They’re set every quarter and are the same every single quarter,” he says. “As partners look at the pipeline and how their business is going, they have a very good view of how much money they can make selling our products.”

Predictability is just one of several “Ps” SecureFirst emphasizes. Profitability is another. “We’ve got what we believe to be best-in-class types of up-front discounts as well as back-end rebates,” Kim says.

Both the discounts and rebates get bigger the higher you go in SecureFirst’s four tiers. Members at the entry-level Registered tier don’t get margin at all, but do receive access to deal registration, SonicWall University training materials, marketing collateral, and more. Requirements are minimal.

Silver-level partners must complete a preset number of technical and sales training classes and generate $50,000 of sales a year. In return, they get additional access to MDF and partner account reps. Gold and Platinum partners must record $250,000 and $500,000 of revenue, respectively, but collect extra discounts and rebates in exchange.

A Broader Portfolio

Product is a third “P” much on SonicWall’s mind, and there’s more of it for partners at all levels of SecureFirst to sell than ever. Years of ambitious development work have transformed a company once known chiefly for firewalls into a provider of integrated hardware and software solutions for protecting endpoints, email, networks, and beyond. These are all backed by an underlying threat intelligence engine and innovative capabilities like SonicWall’s Real-Time Deep Memory Inspection technology, which helps its Capture Advanced Threat Protection system spot malware even sandboxes can miss.

“We’ve got a broader portfolio,” Kim says. Motivating partners to sell more of that portfolio’s contents, he continues, is a priority for SecureFirst, which raised the discounts available to partners who earn program specializations last year in a bid to drive their interest in a wider variety of products.

One of those specializations is specifically for managed security service providers (MSSPs), who have had a partner program of their own since April. Designed to help sophisticated providers of managed security services pay for products through the same monthly fees they charge customers, the program currently has close to 100 members globally.

About the Author

Rich Freeman's picture

Rich Freeman is ChannelPro's Executive Editor

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