Deepak Thadani, president of New York-based SysIntegrators, leads with Unified Threat Management appliances at his SMB and SoHo client sites. He shares some tips for other solution providers looking to convince clients that UTM devices are right for their businesses.
Find the right product, and they will buy: For VARs just coming into the market to sell UTM appliances, you want to look at a company with good name recognition that also has a good, stable product. Look for the nicer features, like enhanced firmware to give granularity over NAT tables and firewall rules. You've got to get a reliable solution that's got easy setup and configuration, a stable platform, speed, performance and all those good things.
You're the expert; act like it: Customers are cool. They'll listen to you as a trusted adviser, so it's up to you to make the right decision on what solution you recommend for them. We sell UTM devices day in and day out. There was some stagnation last year, when people needed to get up to speed on the learning curve for these appliances. Now they're an easy sell.
It pays to be secure: When people look at the cost of this stuff, they are going to listen when you go up to them and say, 'Look, everything evolves, threats evolve,' and you say, 'Every three years, you're going to be upgrading this device, because threats are evolving and security gets upgraded.' Look, we're not manufacturing lightbulbs here.
Talk up scalability: We recommend SonicWall's UTM appliances. They've got a range of products that scales for SoHo to the small office of 10 to 25 users. Anything larger than that, we go with the TZ 190 with unrestricted nodes. You should also be looking for a device with wireless cards that gives wide-area connectivity, so you've got Internet backup, but it can also be used as primary Internet.