The new offering combines managed connectivity, compliance and basic security solutions.

Kris Blackmon, Head of Channel Communities

October 10, 2018

3 Min Read
Woman handing over credit card to be processed on POS device

Netsurion is hitting the channel again, this time with a new managed SD-WAN offering called Netsurion Connect. In summer of last year, the managed security provider debuted its channel program with its SIEM product. In the time since, it’s apparently learned that managed service providers (MSPs) are the perfect conduit to get its products into the small and midsize business (SMB) space.

Its new offering is a secure connectivity solution that bundles SD-WAN architecture, secure Wi-Fi, a managed firewall and a suite of PCI DSS compliance tools through a subscription-based platform. Netsurion says it lets MSPs deliver the ability to securely scale to their customers, combining myriad networking security capabilities into one package that drives down hardware and bandwidth costs. The solution is deployed and managed through its platform Connect Orchestrator.

The solution finds a good fit in verticals such as retail, where the networking and compliance pieces combine nicely to solve several retailer pain points. Netsurion offers a subscription-based PCI compliance for merchants package that includes a PCI management portal, SAQ wizard, vulnerability scans, live support and other features that combine to form a compliance-as-a-service offering. It’s a nice complement to its scalable, secure connectivity; together, the solution is designed to give SMB branch offices or regional locations the support of a centralized management system for the whole distributed environment.

Traditional retailers are just the beginning. Aaron Branson, vice president of marketing at Netsurion, says the company is looking to support IoT-enabled businesses that color outside the lines of the typical brick-and-mortar branch location structure.


Aaron Branson

Aaron Branson

“We are seeing a great IoT opportunity,” says Branson. “To be specific, as IoT can mean a lot of things to a lot of people, we’re seeing ‘unmanned’ businesses like kiosks, car washes, parking lots, etc. already implementing our solution.”

The company is touting one of its direct customers, Volta Charging, as a case-in-point. Volta has deployed Netsurion Connect SD-WAN in 400 locations nationwide, using the offering to provide cellular connectivity, firewall security, and remote deployment, monitoring and troubleshooting. In the future, says Branson, Volta is looking to add NGFW, secure Wi-Fi and PCI compliance-as-a-service.

As any MSP or channel chief will tell you, it’s one thing to support end user customers directly, and it’s another thing altogether to sell, deploy and manage a solution through the channel. There’s a whole other layer of complexity that a channel partnership introduces, and it has to satisfy a host of different demands. But Netsurion knows the only way to reach the SMB market is through managed service providers, and it’s pushing hard to make inroads in the indirect sales channel. It wants a reciprocal relationship with the channel, and is trying to scratch as many MSP itches as it can with this offering.

“These solutions best serve the SMB when delivered by a single service provider; these solutions are not only addressing the cybersecurity risks to MSPs’ revenue base posed by unprotected SMBs, but also increasing customer loyalty and ‘stickiness’ for MSPs through security, resiliency and compliance,” says Branson. “Our relationship with MSPs has become much more symbiotic.”

While nascent, Netsurion says its program is on track to provide an open platform that integrates with MSP-management solutions such as RMM/PSA, and it’s working to consolidate its SIEM console and SD-WAN orchestrator. Branson tells us that as a result of its SIEM partner program, it’s learned to be more intentional in collaborating with MSPs through traditional incentives such as training and marketing solutions.

MSPs are scrambling to beef up their security offerings, some in the hopes of becoming full-fleged managed security service providers (MSSPs). But when solutions like anti-virus and firewall move from the realm of cybersecurity and become just another part of IT infrastructure, where is the natural next step? Branson says that the number one pain point Netsurion hears from its partners today is that they struggle to develop a mature managed security offering. It’s hoping that next step leads partners straight to connectivity and compliance.

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About the Author(s)

Kris Blackmon

Head of Channel Communities, Zift Solutions

Kris Blackmon is head of channel communities at Zift Solutions. She previously worked as chief channel officer at JS Group, and as senior content director at Informa Tech and project director of the MSP 501er Community. Blackmon is chair of CompTIA's Channel Development Advisory Council and operates KB Consulting. You may follow her on LinkedIn and @zift on X.

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