SonicWall topped the 2011 ARC survey in the Network Security Appliances category in an upset victory over the two companies that triumphed in the category for the past four years. SonicWall's strong showing in the 2011 ARC survey beat Fortinet's scores, which led the survey in 2010 and 2009, and Juniper's, which led the 2008 and 2007 surveys.
However, SonicWall's victory was incomplete. Solution providers gave SonicWall top honors in product innovation and channel support, but Fortinet's channel partners gave that vendor a strong thumbs-up in the partnership area, thereby snatching a clean sweep from SonicWall. In the eyes of Deepak Thadani, president of SysIntegrators, an Armonk, N.Y.-based SonicWall solution provider, SonicWall dominated the reseller survey for a simple reason.
"They have the best product. I feel that way, and customers feel that way, with the proof being the fact that they keep renewing their SonicWall contracts," Thadani said. Thadani said he is surprised that SonicWall didn't completely sweep the survey, and expects that may change next year. "We just came back from their Peak Performance partner conference," he said. "I'm really excited about the things they're doing."
Those "things" Thadani referred to are expected to help SonicWall sweep the Network Security Appliances category in next year's survey, said Vince Massey, senior director of North Americas channels at SonicWall.
"This month, we just beta'd our new partner portal," Massey said. "It doesn't include just data, but also partner business information such as where partners stand with their software, deal registration and renewal information."
SonicWall by year-end will roll out a completely new partner communications scheme, Massey said. The company also just rolled out a new MSP program, he said. Massey said that SonicWall has won the support part of the ARC survey for two years in a row, thanks to investments it make in support in the last couple of years.