Page 2 of 3
And most SonicWall partners say that Thoma Bravo wouldn't likely do anything to dismantle or sabotage the channel once the acquisition was complete in light of the fact that the investment firm shelled out a hefty premium for its purchase.
"I don't see (Thoma Bravo) doing much of anything as far as limiting or thinning them, or going direct. I wouldn't see that happening," said Ron Culler, chief technology officer for Secure Designs, a Greensboro, N.C.-based MSSP.
"If something happened I'd be really, really surprised. (SonicWall) supports the channel and the channel is their army," he said adding that it would be "crazy" for an outside investor to come in and move them away from their channel base.
All in all, SonicWall channel partners say that Thoma Bravo's impending acquisition would likely be a good move for the Sunnyvale, Calif.-based networking security company. If anything, they say, the money would give the company secure financial backing for innovation and marketing, while freeing the company up to focus on its enterprise expansion without having to answer to Wall Street.
However, while SonicWall is financially solvent, its SMB solution providers are starting to question the company's long range plans going forward, maintaining that it will still be under pressure to expand upward and maximize profits to provide a strong ROI for Bravo investors.
"(The acquisition) is going to release a lot of burdens. The strategy is maybe that they have some underlying ideas in technology that they think that they can do better with and take to market quicker as a private company and really start to take a run at some of these big competitors like Cisco," said Monte Robertson, CEO of Software Security Solutions, a Lakewood, Colo.-based solution provider. "It's unfortunate. Everyone wants to go after the big guys. It's unfortunate because our (company's) focus is taking care of the little guys. They're the ones that need the help the most," he said.