SonicWall Eyes The Enterprise


SonicWall is aiming to get a jump on the competition with an extensive rollout of new products -- particularly its enterprise E-class line -- which execs and partners alike say will make for an exciting 2008.

In a Sunday keynote speech that kicked off SonicWall's three-day partner conference in Las Vegas, CEO Matt Medeiros highlighted the company's aggressive goals and glorified its recent achievements, which included launching 15 new products, as well as the acquisition of four companies and growing market share.

"We've built a great foundation, a foundation that showed four successful acquisitions. A foundation built on promises that if we build a bigger opportunity for revenue, we're building a lifetime relationship with our end customers," said Medeiros, at The Venetian Hotel-Resort-Casino in Las Vegas in front of hundreds of SonicWall's resellers, distributers and employees. "I think we've done a pretty good job."

During his speech, Medeiros made reference to the progressively hostile security environment that businesses tackle on a daily basis. Stealth threats, he said, continued to be the most prevalent.

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"Many [threats] are coming from within. Money is the end game. This isn't going to go away," said Medeiros. "The moment we think we've fixed the problem there's a new one in its place. There's a new way to do it. It's about money."

Medeiros said that SonicWall is prepared to meet those threats head on, and is well-positioned to capitalize on areas that have experienced double-digit growth in the market, such as UTM, email security and SSL VPN. Medeiros hailed SonicWall's new product lineup as "the best product offering" that he had seen in the five years he had been with the company.

The products are all aligned with SonicWall's core competencies, which include network security, business continuity, and secure content management. In particular, execs lauded SonicWall's enterprise offerings, the NSA E-class series, which Medeiros said was "creating quite a buzz in the industry."

Likewise, VARs attending the conference said they were excited about the sales opportunities provided by SonicWall's new offerings. Almost all said that they looked forward to offering new and upgraded products to their customers.

"It's exciting. It's amazing that they've been able roll out so many products in one year," said John Gapinski, president of Secured Retail based in Ladera Ranch, Calif. "It's hard to find that kind of technology at that price point. Sure, some of the products will not work out the way they want exactly, but the majority of their promises, they'll deliver on."

One partner said that the sleek new line was vastly different than the SonicWall rollouts in years past. "They looked like boxes. There was a huge difference," said Richard Hyde, director of sales for EZMicro, based in Whitehall, Penn.

"We can't wait to show our customers what's coming for 2008, so big smiles," he added.

Medeiros said that now more than ever, SonicWall was positioned to serve the SMB space that increasingly requires more affordable bandwidth to meet its security objectives.

Medeiros said that as the uncertain economy leads to shrinking IT budgets, businesses would look for alternative vendors who could provide high-performance security options at an affordable price. That creates more opportunity for SonicWall's enterprise offerings, he said.

Company execs also noted new insourced local 24/7 support centers, both in the U.S. and overseas, which were implemented to ensure efficiency and further streamline business processes for partners.

"It's all about the attack of the alternatives," he said. "Sonicwall is doing everything we can to make sure we're the alternative."