Small businesses want a UTM appliance that is easy to use and maintain, said Alejandro Rosado, CEO of 12:34 MicroTechnologies, a Lancaster, Pa.-based WatchGuard partner. Rosado said he has evaluated appliances from Barracuda and looked at the Sophos UTM appliance (formerly Astaro) and hasn't yet found a good reason to move away from WatchGuard.
"We've found WatchGuard very easy to configure and sell, and the margins have been great," Rosado said "What's been nice for our techs is its unified interface, regardless of which device we're installing."
WatchGuard offers about 11 appliance models. It recently released a UTM appliance that works on the Microsoft Windows Azure cloud platform. The company introduced data loss prevention capabilities into its UTM appliances earlier this year and also is partnering with NCP Engineering to simplify remote IPSec VPN access for businesses.
Thurber was named WatchGuard's vice president of sales for the Americas and EMEA regions in June. He said he anticipates additional program adjustments and enhancements to the company's channel program into next year. Thurber has a long history in the channel, having worked at Tripwire and McAfee, following a 10-year stint at Cisco Systems, where he developed and led go-to-market channel strategies.
He told CRN in a recent interview that the firm has been focused on lead processing and lead generation to get leads to partners as quickly as possible.
"Channel is part of the DNA of the company, and will remain that way," he said, adding that quarterly business reviews will help determine what WatchGuard can do to support its partners. "The firm is also reviewing its territories to see where we can grow its partner base," Thurber said.
PUBLISHED SEPT. 4, 2013