IT and Business Insights for SMB Solution Providers

Fortinet, Ingram Micro, and Masergy Collaborate on Managed SD-WAN Solution

The new offering, which combines hardware and software from Fortinet with outsourced management by Masergy and distribution through Ingram Micro, is designed to help channel pros with limited in-house expertise bring SD-WAN services to SMB customers. By Rich Freeman

Masergy, Fortinet, and Ingram Micro have launched a jointly delivered solution designed to help channel pros with limited in-house expertise bring SD-WAN services to SMB customers.

Distributed by Ingram Micro, the new offering combines firewalls and secure SD-WAN software from Fortinet with outsourced management from Masergy. 

Though the hardware and software licensing are paid for upfront, the services portion is priced and sold on an as-a-service basis. “That means the partner really can offer a best-in-class solution that is on demand, just the way their end customers want to consume technology,” says Karl Connolly, Ingram’s chief technologist, who notes that Ingram Micro finance programs enable partners to collect the complete lifecycle value of the contract in advance.

Rapid adoption of SaaS applications and multicloud infrastructures has made SD-WAN solutions increasingly popular among businesses of all sizes, including SMBs. “They need agility, they need time to market, they need to break free of the shackles of legacy networking, and for them to keep pace and offer the types of services that they well and truly need to survive, they are increasingly embracing SD-WAN,” Connolly says.

Channel pros without the skills and resources to meet that demand, however, have been locked out of a promising opportunity until now, according to Eric Kohl, Ingram’s vice president of security and networking.

“We’re seeing a lot of instances where SD-WAN is kind of a door opener to additional opportunities with the end client,” he says. “There are thousands and thousands and thousands of MSPs and resellers and VARs that perhaps don’t have that type of competency today.”

Partners can opt for either a co-managed version of the solution in which they’re responsible for tier 1 and tier 2 client support or a fully managed version in which Masergy handles everything. The latter model gives VARs an easy way to begin adding managed services to their offerings, according to Bill Madison, vice president of global channel alliances at Masergy.

“It really fits the need of the reseller and how they can advance and use services to expand the scale of their business, and get into a marketplace that they maybe weren’t able to before because of their lack of resources or expertise,” he says.

Fortinet has a lot of partners who fit that profile, according to Jon Bove, the vendor’s vice president of channel sales. “There’s a big shift going on in the market,” he says. “Our partners are trying to get into the managed services business.”

Buyers who wish to can add remote network access for mobile workers and 24/7 threat detection and response services to the solution for an extra fee.

Readying the new service for market took 18 months of behind-the-scenes effort, according to Madison. “Making sure that it’s an easy solution and the provisioning and deployment is where we all need it to be took a little time,” he says.

This is the first time Masergy has offered managed SD-WAN through distribution, Madison adds, noting that the new route to market will give the company wider access to channel pros and their SMB customers. “We think we can go deeper and wider at scale with a different partner type,” he says.

Gartner expects global SD-WAN sales to climb at a 28% CAGR through 2024.

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