A standalone company again, the security vendor is basking in the enrollment of more than 10,000 partners and rolling out new training and marketing initiatives.

Aldrin Brown, Editor-in-Chief

April 1, 2017

3 Min Read
Six Months In New SonicWall Celebrates Momentum
SonicWall University is among the new initiatives announced today for members of the newly independent SecureFirst Partner Program.

Today marks 150 days since SonicWall spun off from the company formerly known as Dell, and leaders of the security software vendor were in a celebratory mood as they rolled out new training and marketing programs.

The main cause for celebration comes from the fact that more than 10,000 partners have registered for the new SonicWall SecureFirst Partner Program since the split went final on Nov. 1 of last year.

Included in that number are 8,000 partners who followed SonicWall when it broke away from Dell Software Group.

Add to that 2,000 brand new partners signed up in less than six months, and it’s easy to see why the atmosphere at the newly independent company is bordering on giddy.

“We clearly had more momentum and volume than we expected,” SonicWall CEO Bill Conner told MSPmentor in recent days.

Conner was handpicked by the new ownership, comprised of private equity firm Francisco Partners and hedge fund Elliot Management.

Also included in the sale of Dell Software Group were Quest Software and One Identity, which are being operated together as a separate entity, known as Quest Software.

While it’s not clear anyone has fully acknowledged it publicly, there seems a clear sense SonicWall was playing under its potential during its four years as part of Dell.

It’s Conner’s job to squeeze every ounce of value out of the new standalone security company.

Bill Conner, CEO, SonicWall

“The reality is that SonicWall has protected people for 25 years,” Conner said. “All the due diligence said the (partners) were still loyal and still like the brand and the team.”

The new SonicWall has every intention of reinstating itself as a player in the booming cybersecurity space.

In a coming-out party of sorts, SonicWall today also launched a new cybersecurity training initiative for partners and a stepped-up effort to market its products and educate the public about the nature of the current cyber-threat landscape.

SonicWall University relies on a powerful and innovative platform to pump a steady stream of training and relevant information to keep partners abreast of the latest developments in cybersecurity.

Steve Pataky, VP worldwide sales and channel

“It’s role-based,” said Steve Pataky, SonicWall’s vice president of worldwide sales and channel. “The first question is ‘tell us what your job is.’”

“Rich media, white papers and lays out a curriculum for them that ultimately ends in accreditation,” he said.

It’s the very same tool that SonicWall uses to keep its own employees up to date on current threats.

“The threat of cyber is so real,” explained Pataky, whose job it was to stand up a fully functioning, standalone partner program – distinct from Dell. “You marry that with a massive skills gap that exists, (and) companies are finding it virtually impossible to keep up.”

“That places a huge opportunity in the channel,” he continued. “That was really the genesis for SonicWall University. We had a lot of field training. What we didn’t always have was a learning platform that can serve up a variety of content.”

Bill O'Dell, VP Marketing, SonicWall

The new marketing initiative is aimed as teaching SMBs about the current climate of cyberthreats and how IT services providers who use SonicWall technology can help protect them.

“Everything we build is based on three hot threats: encrypted threats, email, malware,” said Bill O’Dell, vice president of marketing at SonicWall. “This is very novel. It’s very forward looking.”


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About the Author(s)

Aldrin Brown

Editor-in-Chief, Penton

Veteran journalist Aldrin Brown comes to Penton Technology from Empire Digital Strategies, a business-to-business consulting firm that he founded that provides e-commerce, content and social media solutions to businesses, nonprofits and other organizations seeking to create or grow their digital presence.

Previously, Brown served as the Desert Bureau Chief for City News Service in Southern California and Regional Editor for Patch, AOL's network of local news sites. At Patch, he managed a staff of journalists and more than 30 hyper-local and business news and information websites throughout California. In addition to his work in technology and business, Brown was the city editor for The Sun, a daily newspaper based in San Bernardino, CA; the college sports editor at The Tennessean, Nashville, TN; and an investigative reporter at the Orange County Register, Santa Ana, CA.


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