SonicWall Launches MSSP Program Focused On Enabling, Simplifying Security Operations


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SonicWall has debuted a new partner program that provides solution providers with blueprints showing them how to operate a managed security practice most effectively.  

The Milpitas, Calif.-based security vendor said its three-tier MSSP program will be an add-on to SonicWall's flagship SecureFirst initiative, providing financial, marketing and enablement support to partners with an emerging or established managed security practice, according to Steve Pataky, SonicWall's SVP and chief revenue officer.  

"It's dangerous out there, so you need to have this level of enhanced service capability," said Scott McCrady, vice president of global strategic partnerships.

[Related: SonicWall Unveils Major Product Updates Across Its Entire Portfolio]

Blueprints provided as part of SonicWall's MSSP program will span the maturity lifecycle from health and performance monitoring to high-end analytics across multiple security technologies, Pataky said. Blueprints currently available as part of the program address health and performance monitoring (i.e., is the box up and running?), as well as advanced email protection capabilities against emerging threats.

Many more blueprints are coming, Pataky said, including ones for audit and compliance, advanced integrated offerings, advanced ransomware protection capabilities across multiple threat vectors, and custom high-end solutions.  

Forty partners have already begun the vetting process to enter SonicWall's MSSP program since the Feb. 28 soft launch, McCrady said. SonicWall wants to ensure the solution provider is sincerely committed to delivering managed security services before granted them admission to the program, according to McCrady.   

The MSSP program will be segmented into three tiers, according to McCrady: Protect, Powered, and PoweredPlus. Protect is targeted at partners just getting into managed security services, McCrady said, and will provide lots of tools to get them up and running as quickly as possible and addressing the biggest and baddest threat vectors.

Protect partners are expected to have personnel focused on managed security operations and sales, as well as the ability to move into security-related professional services, McCrady said. These partners will from SonicWall receive training for their field sales and sales engineers around the MSSP model and how to provide support through consulting-based engagements, according to McCrady.

PoweredPlus partners, on the other hand, already have a foothold in high-end security and are often attempting to address challenges such as how to get more visibility and insight into encrypted traffic, McCrady said. These partners will typically have two SOCs for redundancy and failover, a large number of certified staff, and the ability to provide security services directly to customers, he said.

Top-tier partners will have access to specialists with advanced capabilities as well as expertise around the different financial models needed to launch and support a multi-vector offering, McCrady said. ProtectPlus partners are expected to deliver email, UTI and SSL security as a service, McCrady, and will have extensive access to models, frameworks, and direct engagement from SonicWall specialists.

SonicWall plans to focus on helping MSSP partners move up the value stack, according to McCrady, and believes that solution providers could go from Protect to PoweredPlus in two to three years in a perfect world.

The MSSP program is the second add-on initiative launched around the flagship SecureFirst program, Pataky said, and follows a program focused on partner professional services. SonicWall has embraced a 100 percent channel strategy since spinning off from Dell in November 2016.

MSSPs are typically looking for broader and deeper support around tools, enablement and products as compared with a traditional VAR or MSSP, according to Michael Crean, CEO of Woodbridge, Va.-based Solutions Granted.

"It's important for them to address our needs," Crean said. "SonicWall has got its swagger back."

These partners also want pricing that allows them to be competitive in the marketplace, Crean said, as well as education that allows them to speak knowledgeably to the changes that are taking place in the market.  

"The educational component is going to be critical," Crean said.

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