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SonicWall Rolls Out New Training Service and Marketing Campaigns

Announced some five months after the security vendor exited Dell Technologies to become an independent company once more, the new offerings arrive amid rapid growth for its SecureFirst partner program.

By Rich Freeman

SonicWall Inc. has opened the doors to a new online training school for its partners and launched a new trio of demand generation campaigns for its products.

The education service, called SonicWall University and available immediately worldwide to all enrollees in the Santa Clara, Calif.-based security vendor’s SecureFirst partner program, includes in-depth information about the latest threats and exploits, along with best practices advice on using SonicWall solutions to mitigate them.

“SonicWall University is all about bringing together our digital resources, technology, and expertise and applying it to the new cyber frontier that’s happening today,” says SonicWall president and CEO Bill Conner.

Content for the new training service, which comes not only from within SonicWall itself but from outside security experts and the company’s most experienced resellers, is updated continually to reflect the most recent developments in a constantly shifting threat landscape. The system presents customized selections of that content to users based on their role and specializations.

“Once you come in and we know what your job function is, we’ll serve up a specific curriculum for that. It’s not one-size-fits-all,” says Steve Pataky, SonicWall’s vice president of worldwide security sales.

SonicWall account managers and support staff are now required to utilize SonicWall University for training purposes too, to ensure they and SecureFirst members share a common understanding of current risks and product offerings.

The new marketing campaigns introduced today focus on three potent security hazards: Ransomware, SSL and TLS encrypted exploits, and email-borne attacks.

Each campaign includes an end-to-end set of white papers, demos, event marketing toolkits, and other resources designed to help partners establish themselves as thought leaders with potential customers and then guide those prospects through the sales funnel to completed deals. SecureFirst members can apply for market development funds in support of their outreach efforts as well.

“We’re making a major investment to help our partners market these solutions,” says Bill O’Dell, vice president of marketing at SonicWall.

Materials for the new campaigns draw on findings from SonicWall’s recently published 2017 Annual Threat Report. Based on real-time data collected by the vendor’s Global Response Intelligent Defense Threat Network from over 1 million sensors, it states that ransomware attack attempts mushroomed 167 times on a year-over-year basis in 2016 to 638 million.

On the other hand, the report also says that freshly discovered malware signatures targeting point-of-sale devices dropped from 14 in 2015 to just one last year, suggesting that security vendors and partners are making progress in some areas even as they continue to face significant challenges elsewhere. According to O’Dell, SonicWall’s demand generation campaigns share a “fear less” theme informed by that mix of good news and bad that’s deliberately aimed at cutting against the more alarmist grain of competitor’s marketing efforts.

“Most of the other vendors in this space are about doom and gloom,” he says. “We’re going to be more about confidence and how having the right education and the right solutions and the right support with the channel can help you fear less.”

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