Stonesoft, Red River Partner For Public Sector Network Security

Under a new partnership announced this week, Claremont, N.H.-based Red River said it would certify its engineers on Stonesoft product implementation and support. Meanwhile Stonesoft said it would participate in Red River events.

Approximately 80 to 90 percent of Red River's business is in the public sector, according to Dave Levin, senior director of partner operations with Red River. Levin told CRN that system monitoring and detection is a big part of what customers are trying to solve, and Stonesoft's next-generation firewall capabilities could be a good fit.

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"We will have engineers that will work collaboratively with Stonesoft," Levin said. "Our clients are looking at ease of [deployment] and a less costly approach to addressing the problems they're having."

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Red River doesn't have exclusivity with any one partner, and the firm mostly works with the "big tier-one partners most folks are familiar with," Levin said. "We see Stonesoft as a differentiator."

Stonesoft, a Helsinki, Finland-based security vendor with U.S. headquarters in Atlanta, sells software- and hardware-based next-generation firewall offerings, which it introduced in 2011. The firm also markets an intrusion prevention system and SSL VPN. The company competes with Dell-SonicWall, Sophos and WatchGuard.

The firm began expansion efforts in North America about two years ago, said Chris Townsend, Stonesoft's vice president of sales for federal and mid-Atlantic. Townsend said the company's core engine is uniquely catered for providing advanced evasion techniques.

"Customers are forced to continually upgrade boxes as their security needs evolve, and we don't think that is a sustainable model," Townsend said. "We'll bring in an end-to-end solution built from the ground up that can help converge those disparate systems."

Stonesoft recently launched its U.S. channel program. The company offers flexible software licensing and software-based architecture, Townsend said.

The company operates gold and silver partner tiers as well as a program for managed services providers. Software resellers must commit a certified engineer and a certified sales professional. Townsend said the company is making a broader effort to sell into the defense sector with a focus on federal accounts.

"We're limiting our partner community with expertise to this area," Townsend said. "We offer a unique software-based architecture while at the same time we're not commoditizing ourselves."

Under the program, partners handle delivery and services and training for end users for administering the product. The partner also takes care of support and maintenance over the ownership period. Partners provide the first line of support and can rely on Stonesoft for 24/7 support services to partners depending on the service-level agreement in place.