Palo Alto Networks' Partners Say Robust Sales Growth Will Continue Into 2015

Palo Alto Networks’ partners attending the company’s NextWave Americas Partner Conference this week said the next-generation firewall company is firing on all cylinders and they expect it to pay off in another year of robust sales growth in 2015.

Partners said the double-digit sales gains come with increased competition in the next-generation firewall market and an expansion by Palo Alto Networks into the endpoint protection business with the acquisition earlier this year of Cyvera. Palo Alto Networks expects to make that end point security product available to the channel this month.

Accuvant, No. 48 on the CRN SP500 and one of the top security partners attending the conference in Chicago, grew its Palo Alto Networks security business close to 50 percent this year and expects to do the same next year, said Dan Wilson, senior vice president of partner solutions for Denver, Colo.-based Accuvant.

[Related: Palo Alto Networks Names Americas Channel Chief, Refreshes Program]

Sponsored post

"We have been growing 50 percent year over year for a few years now with Palo Alto and that’s our goal for 2015," Wilson said. "We’re starting from a big number so it’s pretty daunting, but we see the potential for more growth. Only 15 percent of our clients are working right now with Palo Alto Networks. We think we can get it to 20 to 25 percent with some of the things they are doing with Wildfire and Cyvera."

The reputation that Palo Alto Networks has built with Accuvant’s sales team and customers is paying off in increased adoption of a Palo Alto Networks’ end to end security platform, Wilson said.

He said sales reps and customers are "chomping at the bit" to get their hands on the Cyvera endpoint protection product because of Palo Alto Networks' "reputation for delivering consistent solid technology."

The Palo Alto Networks growth story comes even as larger competitors jump into the next-generation firewall market attempting to steal the company’s thunder. Cisco Systems just this week revealed a next-generation firewall that leverages the technology it acquired last year from its $2.7 billion acquisition of security software maker Sourcefire.

"Palo Alto is executing in every aspect of the business," said J.D. Butt, vice president of technology for Chicago-based solution provider Nexum, which has grown its Palo Alto Network sales 50 percent for six consecutive years. ’We have seen other manufacturers have cataclysmic technical problems that have slowed their growth. Palo Alto Networks has not put themselves in that boat. They are executing very well in front of the customers."

Butt sees no reason he cannot continue to deliver robust sales growth increases again with new offerings like Cyvera.

NEXT: Milestone Systems More Than Doubles Its Palo Alto Networks Sales

Milestone Systems, a Minneapolis, solution provider, more than doubled its Palo Alto Networks business to $10 million, up from $4 million last year. The company expects to grow by at least 50 percent in 2015, said Brian Stevenson, Milestone vice president of sales and marketing.

"We have got a lot in the pipeline," he said. "We do a lot of ultimate test drives (which allows engineers to test the Palo Alto Networks product set). They walk out of that test drive as advocates of Palo Alto Networks. Every one of those test drives we have done has resulted in a sale."

Milestone has repeatedly moved Palo Alto Networks products from the perimeter into the data center.

"We are seeing these very large data center opportunities start to take hold," Stevenson said. "Customers want a single pane of glass for their advanced malware and their firewall and Palo Alto Networks offers a great solution."

Justin Flynn, a consultant for Chicago-based security solution provider Burwood Group, which has also grown its Palo Alto Networks business by 50 percent in the last year, said Palo Alto Networks’ ’land and expand’ strategy from the perimeter to the data center is paying off.

"It’s like a machine," he said. "Once we get it into the edge we start having the conversation on moving it to the data center. We have got the story. Palo Alto has the story. We can deliver it."

Flynn said customers are already interested in the Cyvera product because they like Palo Alto Networks end to end platform approach to security.

’We expect to use products like that to continue growing with our existing clients and new customers,’ he said.

Whitney Tomlin, CEO of InterVision Systems Technologies, a Santa Clara, Calif. solution provider, said Palo Alto Networks is helping his company drive multimillion dollar enterprise data center deals.

"We are a data center-centric VAR and they are coming right into the data center," Tomlin said. "I am excited because the deals are getting bigger."

Tomlin also praised Palo Alto Networks for continuing to bring on top notch channel talent like new Americas Channel Chief Todd Palmer, who joined the company in August after overseeing the Americas channel for storage provider NetApp.

"They have a crack management team that has come from enterprise companies like Cisco and NetApp," Tomlin said. "Palo Alto is positioned well as an end to end security story."

Andrew Segal, president and CEO of Vandis, an Albertson, N.Y. security solution provider, said he grew his Palo Alto Networks business "comfortably above 50 percent" and he thinks he can do it again in 2015.

Segal sees Palo Alto Networks winning time and time again in competitive bake offs.

"Customers are making the selection from competitive proof of concepts," he said. "That tells you where the market is."