SonicWall Execs At Peak 16: Partners Will See Big Boost From Pending Private Equity Deal

While the pending close of its sale to private equity is still a few months away, Dell SonicWall executives said the company is ’open for business’ and ready to engage partners for the future as a private company.

’Now we are set up to be completely independent. It’s a big deal for us and we are very, very excited about. You will see us move faster than you’ve ever seen us move,’ Curtis Hutcheson, general manager, Dell SonicWall, said in the opening keynote of its Peak 2016 event in Las Vegas on Monday.

Dell announced in June that it planned to sell its Dell Software division, which includes Dell SonicWall and other security lines, to private equity firm Francisco Partners and the private-equity arm of activist hedge fund Elliott Management. On Monday, Hutcheson said that the firms recognized that they were buying a ’crown jewel’ from the Dell portfolio and planned to keep SonicWall as an independent entity going forward, saying they were ’long-term buyers.’

[Related: Dell SonicWall Unveils New Partner Program For Post-Dell Split]

Sponsored post

’That is a big benefit for us,’ Hutcheson said. He said that staying independent will help SonicWall leverage the benefits of its technology, an independent go-to-market route, its partner network, its growing SME install base and sole focus on security.

Patrick Sweeney, vice president of product management for Dell SonicWall, echoed those sentiments, saying partners can expect to reap the benefits of SonicWall's standing as a dedicated network security vendor, particularly around product innovation.

’We’re still SonicWall. We will emerge in November as SonicWall and when we do so it will be the name you’ve known and trusted. We’re out here to be successful and help our partners be successful as a dedicated security company,’ Sweeney said.

Partners agreed that the move would be a big boost for the network security vendor. Julie Neely, founding partner of Napa, Calif.-based Napa Valley Networks, has been a SonicWall partner since before its purchase by Dell in 2012 for $1.2 billion. Neely said she expects the sale will drive a deeper focus on technology innovation from SonicWall, some of which was already previewed at Peak 16 this week.

’When they go back to be a sole company that is just doing the one product with the services, it seems like we get a lot more focused on the technology and that the technology gets more traction and tends to grow quicker. I’m looking forward to seeing that piece of it,’ Neely said. ’We’re just excited to see what they will do,’ she said.

What will be key in the transition, Neely said, is maintaining consistency for partners. That’s an area SonicWall is already starting to get lined up, announcing a new partner program at Peak 16 that will launch with the expected close of the deal this fall. Steve Pataky, vice president of worldwide security sales at SonicWall, said it will be ’partnering to win’ after the sale and looking to accelerate the momentum it has been gaining with partners by investing in ’partner engines’ like incentives, communications, enablement, ease of doing business, support and services and marketing.

’It’s all about how we can inspire [our partners] and your team to feel good about partnering with SonicWall to protect your customers the way you need to,’ Pataky said. ’The separation is just a substantial catalyst for us. It’s an incredible opportunity to [start with a clean slate] about how do we stand up the best partner ecosystem in the business."

Partners can expect to see SonicWall taking partner feedback, undergoing a distributor review and making final preparations for the program launch in the third quarter of 2017. In the fourth quarter, SonicWall plans to launch the new Secure First partner program, bring its new reward for value incentives live and launch its new partner portal. In the first half of 2018, SonicWall plans to launch sales and SE accreditations, an MSP program and an Authorized Support Partner Program, Pataky said.

’We have a good thing going here…We hope as we move into the next generation of SonicWall that [you, our partners, are] seeing everything we do to continue to earn that loyalty and respect and trust that you put in us every day,’ Pataky said.