ZyXel Partners Get Free Wi-Fi Access Points Through New Incentive Program

In a bid to boost adoption of its next-generation firewalls, ZyXel Communications this week launched an incentive program that offers channel partners a free Wi-Fi access point with the purchase of one of ZyXel's new unified threat management firewall devices.

The program, running now through the end of August, is open only to ZyXel's Authorized channel partners. Solution providers can participate in the program through ZyXel distribution partner Synnex, the SMB-focused networking vendor said Tuesday.

Through the program, authorized partners are eligible to receive ZyXel's NWA5121-NI premium business Wi-Fi access point for free with the purchase of any ZyXel next-generation UTM firewall device. These devices include ZyXel's new Advanced Series USG110, USG210 and USG310 firewalls, along with its new Performance Series USG40, USG40W, USG60 and USG60W.

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The aim of the program is to nudge partners toward upgrading their SMB customers' networks with new, more-robust ZyXel security and W-iFi technologies, according to Anaheim, Calif.-based ZyXel.

"The SMB market is our focus," said Steve Joe, executive vice president for channel business for Americas at ZyXel. "We sell to carriers, but the SMB market has really been our focus in the channel over the past few years."

Craig Moench, owner and president of Line Syte, a Minneapolis-based solution provider and ZyXel partner, said he's had a lot of success selling ZyXel gear into smaller companies that are looking to upgrade from consumer-grade networking equipment. He said ZyXel has been a solid fit for his SMB customers, who still need enterprise-grade equipment but don't necessarily have the IT budgets to acquire it.

"Some of the offices I've come into have really home-grade or consumer-grade routers and access points," Moench said. "The problem is that after so long they need to be reset or rebooted -- and not that business-class equipment doesn’t need to from time to time -- but, for my part, with my experience with ZyXel's equipment, it just works."

According to ZyXel, its new USG firewalls unveiled in June offer significant bandwidth improvements over its prior-generation devices, and include new application control features that let IT more closely monitor and control user activity around social media and spam.

The new firewalls also include anti-malware technology from ZyXel security partners such as Kaspersky Lab, along with a built-in WLAN controller.

Joe, who joined ZyXel in 2011 and, before that, spent 22 years as the CEO and president of SMB networking vendor D-Link, said ZyXel has 4,300 solution providers in the U.S. Before he joined the company, that number was less than half what it is today, he said.

ZyXel has several other partner incentive programs planned for this year, which will also be done through ZyXel distribution partners Synnex and D&H Distributing, he said.

"I think we have finally reached a certain point where the engine is running very efficiently," Joe said. "You will see a lot more on the VAR and distribution side from us going forward."