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SonicWall Revises MSSP Partner Program

The new SecureFirst MSSP Program, which includes monthly pricing with payments in arrears plus direct access to level 3 support techs, is a key element of the vendor’s ongoing push into managed security. By Rich Freeman

SonicWall has introduced a revised version of its SecureFirst MSSP partner program that offers monthly subscription pricing on security solutions and enhanced access to technical support.

The program update, which SonicWall previewed to ChannelPro during a conversation at the RSA Conference in San Francisco this February, is the latest manifestation of the vendor’s ongoing push into the rapidly growing market for managed security services. Other steps in that campaign include the introduction last December of a management dashboard tailored to MSSP requirements.

The new SecureFirst MSSP Program, which amends a program introduced two years ago, adds monthly pricing to the previously available annual rates, as well as the ability to make payments in arrears. Both benefits are essential to companies that collect money from customers on a monthly or quarterly basis themselves, according to Luca Taglioretti, vice president of global MSSP and carrier sales at SonicWall.

“One of the main requirements an MSSP has when creating a service to serve their customer is to have predictable pricing,” he says.

In addition, members at the Powered and Powered Plus levels in the program now receive free direct access to level 3 support engineers. Partners at the entry-level Protect tier can purchase priority technical support as well.

All three of those tiers are carryovers from the program’s original edition. Requirements for the Protect level now include having at least 1,000 SonicWall licenses or 100 firewalls under management, plus having at least two level 1 or level 2 support engineers with appropriate SonicWall certifications. 

To earn Powered status, partners must have at least 5,000 licenses or 250 firewalls under management, a minimum three level 1 or 2 engineers, and either their own 24x5 security operations center or access to a third-party SOC. Powered Plus members must have 10,000 licenses or 500 firewalls under management, at least one SOC of their own, and at least four level 1 or 2 technicians. 

Partners must earn Silver status in SecureFirst, the overarching partner program that contains SecureFirst MSSP, to reach any of those levels.

In addition to subscription pricing, all program members enjoy access to an MSSP community, enablement and education resources through SonicWall University, and proposal-based market development funds. At the Powered Plus level, partners get guaranteed MDF, a dedicated support account manager and an assigned solution architect. Rising higher in the program earns you access to more lucrative tiered rates as well.

Current SecureFirst MSSP members have been grandfathered into the new program at their present level, and will be given time to retain that status under the program’s revised requirements. “There will be a transition period where our sales force will review the business plan with the partners and migrate them to the new program,” Taglioretti says. “We are not planning to do this overnight.”

As CEO Bill Conner has told ChannelPro previously, adding MSSP partners is a critical component of SonicWall’s strategy for grabbing a share of managed security spending, which that IDC expects to grow globally at a 13.9% CAGR through 2023, from a base of $47 billion last year.

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