Speaking with Channel Post MEA the Executive Director, EMEA at SonicWall, Michael Berg expresses his happiness for yet another year of growth and talks about their channel program and distribution strategy that will further consolidate SonicWall’s position in the region.
With the new office established in Dubai, what will be the roadmap for SonicWall in the region?
SonicWall is finishing another successful year at the end of January. A lot of work will be going into this in the coming weeks. The end of the year marks as well a new beginning for the region. We are going to improve our margin-rich and award-winning partner program “SecureFirst” at the beginning of next fiscal year for our committed partners. With this, growing partners will find additional margin opportunities in our fast growing sector in the Cybersecurity channel. As well, we are striving for more new products next year. This will create more thrilling opportunities as well. Some of our existing strategic partnerships will be extended and deepened. As well, we are going to invite our top partners to meet with our SVP Global Sales, Steve Pataky in Q1. During the year, multiple events are on the drawing board, and we are aiming at another record year in 2019.
How is SonicWall planning to increase its penetration in the region and what is the company doing to attract new channel partners?
In short – continued security platform developments and new features to excel our security leadership position, by breaking the silos between the threat vectors and having solutions which learn from each other, additional SonicWall team members will join us to give more support, do more Direct Touch and close larger opportunities through the channel, more channel enablement and trainings, more branding and visibility in the market will be created with our Lead Generation activities, new licensing models and business blueprints for MSPs, and finally, there will be more margin opportunity for our partners in the updated SecureFirst partner program. In combination with our best-in-class security efficacy and low TCO, that is, without doubt, a winning combination to attract more scalable prospect channel partners.
What is your distribution strategy for the region and what competitive advantage(s) do you offer to your partners?
Our distribution partners play a key role in SonicWall’s channel strategy. What we expect from our distribution partners: Yield, Reach and Velocity. This year, we have aggregated our distributors in EMEA to give more business to our true value add distributors. And this will continue, next year we are extending our channel enablement and trainings through distributors even more. Realistically, we need our distributors to drive low-touch business, work on our vast upgrade- and renewal opportunity with us, and manage the entire processes around logistics, pricing, financing, project support, demo stock, etc. I believe, with our current distribution partners in the region, we have the right setup. Competitive advantage in our market is about the right Product, right Margin opportunity, skills and project support. We have the right answers to all these requirements.
How do you ensure channel partners work with you despite increasing competition?
One answer to this question includes the technical and security side – Channel Partners are the first line of defense in the cyber-arms race. What a partner needs to look for when selecting their security solution for their customers, is, highest security efficacy and an enablement program that allows the partner to play truly the role as trusted advisor for their customers.
With independent NSS Labs test results for five years proofing we take security serious, and our fast and scalable enablement platform SonicWall University, our partners have all this at their fingertips. The other side is ease-of-use. While you can put together many different products from different vendors, partners need to manage the cracks between these products. Our integrated platform solution allows easy management, analytics, reporting, compliance management under one single-pane-of-glass. Nothing is easier and with that, more secure.
What can both existing and prospective channel partners expect from SonicWall in 2019?
Security will become increasingly complex. SonicWall provides also in 2019 the right answers to the increasing threats in Cybersecurity, by enabling our partners to improve their skillset and offer from transactional to managed serviced offerings an easy to use security platform for the entire security stack. Channel Partners can expect even more fun In doing business together with us. With more knowledge transfer and enablement, more exiting business opportunities, at the highest possible security efficacy. Become a SonicWall partner, as easy as visiting our website and applying for a free partnership.