SonicWall reboots enhanced MSSP partner program

SonicWall has made some significant changes to their MSSP partner program, adding more flexible billing and licensing management options, and tweaking the program tier requirements and benefits.

Ho Jin Kim, SonicWall’s Vice President of Worldwide Channels

Today, SonicWall is announcing its SecureFirst Managed Security Service Provider [MSSP] partner program, an update of a program launched almost two years ago to the day. The structure is the same – a three-tier program with Protect, Powered, and Powered Plus tiers covering the span from entry level to elite – but things have been tweaked somewhat, to provide both more flexibility in terms of pricing, and more structure to the tiering. It has also been updated to add support for newer offerings.

“While we announced the program two years ago, since it has come out we have broadened the portfolio substantially,” said Ho Jin Kim, SonicWall’s Vice President of Worldwide Channels. “We have a lot more software assets now, and we have accommodated different pricing models for selling software.”

Kim said that the program’s original billing and license management model had been revamped.

“We needed to make sure we had flexible pricing available,” he indicated. “MSSPs wanted to purchase Capture Client on a monthly basis, whereas it was primarily annual licenses before. So now we have monthly pay-as you go, pay in arrears pricing, and more attractive annual payment offerings.”

Other changes were also made in terms of partner compensation.

“We weren’t giving the right level of recognition of MSSPs for taking Level 1 and 2 support calls on our behalf, and we have also put in more structure relating to Level 3 support from SonicWall,” Kim noted.

“We have also made changes in our Go-to-Market and sales organization, to make sure that we have full collaboration with our own sales people,” he added. Provisioning for MSSPs has also been fully automated.

The tiering and the certification around them have been made more rigorous.

“We are adding a lot more structure and discipline, which is to the partners’ benefit,” Kim said. “We have a strict criteria around the number of folks with technical certifications, for pre-sales, and more importantly, for post-sales  capabilities. There is a core set of requirements around NOC and SOC 24/7 support, the number of certified trained individuals and the number of seats and devices under management.” The certifications cover traditional technical areas, and accreditation by product, encompassing firewall, remote protection, security, and all SonicWall’s lines of business. SonicWall’s Cloud Application Security [CAS] product, which wasn’t around two years ago when the program was created, is now supported by the program.

Kim said that the resources available to the top Powered Plus tier have also been strengthened.

“They have greater access to Level 3 support, and we are making more resources available to them in terms of people like solutions architects and dedicated service account managers,” he indicated. “We are also making more MDF available to the top tier.”

SonicWall has a massive partner program – over 20,500 at least count – but the number of MSSPs supported by this program is a tiny fraction of that, about a couple hundred, Kim said.

“We are excited about this,” he concluded. “In the last 19 months, we have made significant additions to our sales force. We have been seeing more partner adoption, and this is adding more fuel to the fire. We are doubling down in investments, making sure that partners have a program that supports them going forward.”