SonicWall Signs With D&H Distributing


Executives at Sunnyvale, Calif.-based SonicWall say that the decision to sign with D&H was made in an effort to become accessible to more SMB partners and customers.

"The SMB expansion just made a lot of sense," said John Keenan, SonicWall vice president of distribution and DMR for the Americas. "The SMB market is going to be the growing market in 2009. We felt we weren't getting to a lot of the SMB channel partners today."

Specifically, the agreement with D&H will give SonicWall products greater visibility into smaller and newer markets, while providing solution providers with enhanced service and support that will enable them to expand their reach, execs say. The partnership will allow D&H to supply the entire SonicWall product portfolio, including network security, secure remote access, content and e-mail as well as backup and recovery solutions.

D&H Co-President Dan Schwab said that the SonicWall partnership fills certain gaps in the distributor's SMB portfolio, with products such as continuous data protection, email security products and content security manager.

Sponsored post

"D&H is more of a demand gen distributor. With a company like SonicWall, they needed someone out there helping them create demand, evangelizing technology and helping new resellers merchandise SoonicWall for the first time," said Schwab. "As part of the launch we have the salesforce mobilization and customer training online at our shows to really help expand their universe of current resellers.

Schwab also said SonicWall was cited most often in a survey of resellers asking which products or vendors they'd like to see D&H carry.

"We know that SonicWall has come out with a whole new line of products focused on small business," Schwab said.

Keenan said that the D&H partnership aligns with market trends that are requiring SMBs to consolidate technologies and vendors in response to budget pressures and time constraints.

"They don't want to manage multiple vendor relationships with multiple point products. They're looking for a few dedicated partners," he said.

Meanwhile, partners hail the agreement with D&H as something that will further promote SonicWall as a brand and allow the products to become more visible with their customers.

One SonicWall VAR, who partners with distributor Ingram Micro, says that he isn't worried about another distribution mechanism creating a saturated market.

"We're happy that SonicWall is able to bring their product to market through yet another distributor," said Deepak Thadini, president of New York City-based Sysintegrators. "There's a plus for all resellers in this case. This allows smaller SMB resellers to get in on it."

Another partner said that the partnership was "good news," due to the fact that there was a D&H distribution center nearby.

"The other [distributors] do a good job. It's just that D&H has the added advantage of the location," said Daniel Duffy, CEO/CIO of Valley Network Solutions, based in Fresno, Calif. Duffy said that in the past his company has struggled with issues that range from stagnant sales in the declining economy to a lack of visits from SonicWall representatives, and other issues specific to SMB VARs serving tertiary markets like California's San Joaquin Valley.

"Even if they're the dominant VAR [in tertiary markets], they usually can't produce those kinds of number that you can in a primary market," said Duffy.

The expanded reach into the SMB through the D&H partnership isn't a radical change for SonicWall. Some 50 percent of the company's business comes from SMB customers, which gravitate toward SonicWall's unified threat management appliances, e-mail security products, CDP and SSL VPN offerings.

SonicWall said in February 2008 that it planned to expand into the midtier and lower enterprise segments, but maintained that it didn't intend to abandon its core SMB customer and partner base.

Ultimately, SonicWall execs say that they hope to attract more SMB partners into the fold.

"That's ultimately the goal. We are aggressively expanding our SMB footprint. The product portfolio will allow us to go wider and deeper into the SMB space," Keenan said.

Chad Berndtson contributed to this story