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New SonicWall MSSP Program Boosts Pricing Options, Tech Support

SonicWall’s new MSSP program has evolved from forcing customers to commit to an annual license from the get-go to offering both monthly and annual pricing options.

SonicWall has rolled out updates to its SecureFirst Managed Security Service Provider program that provide flexible pricing and priority technical support to MSSPs.

The Milpitas, Calif.-based platform security vendor said it will evolve from forcing customers to commit to an annual license from the get-go to offering both monthly and annual pricing options, according to HoJin Kim, vice president of global channel sales. The monthly pricing appeals to new customers wanting to do a proof of concepts or large organizations that are looking to phase the technology in, Kim said.

“A lot of partners are getting into the managed security services game, so we needed to make sure that we had pricing models available for these partners to be able to take advantage of,” Kim said.

[Related: SonicWall To Revamp Partner, MSSP Programs To Push Value Creation]

MSSPs building out own support and services capabilities around SonicWall will receive prioritized technical support and will no longer have to go through the general customer service portal, Kim said. Technical support for MSSPs had been more unstructured in the past, Kim said, with the impetus on partners to develop those relationships on their own.

All MSSP partners will get priority access into SonicWall’s Level 3 tech support, Kim said, while those at the top MSSP Powered Plus tier will also receive a dedicated services account manager. This person will ensure top MSSPs are getting the right level of escalation and validate that new support personnel are being onboarded and trained effectively, according to Kim.

SonicWall’s MSSP program is a subset of its general SecureFirst global partner program, and solution providers must be at least a Silver-level partner in SecureFirst (the third highest of four tiers) to be eligible for the MSSP program, Kim said. The MSSP program now has three tiers, Kim said: MSSP Protect, MSSP Powered, and MSSP Powered Plus.

MSSP Protect partners must have two post-sales certified personnel, one sales certified personnel, a NOC (Network Operations Center), and provide 40 hours of weekly support, Kim said. MSSP Powered partners must have at least 5,000 seats under management, three post-sales certified personnel, two sales certified personnel, and NOC and a SOC (Security Operations Center), and provide 40 hours of weekly support, Kim said.

And MSSP Powered Plus partners must have at least 10,000 seats under management, four post-sales certified personnel, three sales certified personnel, a NOC and a SOC, and provide around-the-clock support during the workweek, according to Kim.

From a benefits standpoint, MSSP Powered Plus partners received assigned account managers, sales engineers, services account manager, solution providers, and accrued MDF (market development funds), Kim said. This ensures that SonicWall’s top partners have consistent access to MDF for ongoing marketing activities, while MSSP Protect and MSSP Powered partners received proposal based MDF.

Although all SonicWall MSSPs have access to Level 3 technical support, Kim said MSSP Powered and MSSP Powered Plus partners can escalate more incidents and get more incidents for free or at a reduced charge. Discounts also increase for SonicWall partners as they move up the tiers, Kim said, with a roughly 15 percent difference in discounts between MSSP Protect and MSSP Powered Plus.

Roughly 100 of SonicWall’s 20,000 channel partners globally will be part of the MSSP Program at the onset, with participation expected to increase in the months ahead, Kim said. He hopes the MSSP program updates will result in partners taking a more active role in traditional Level 1 and Level 2 support, reducing the number of inbound support calls SonicWall gets for more basic technical issues.

“We’re excited about this,” Kim said. “The team’s been working really, really hard to get this out the door.”

The tiered MSSP program should help ensure resources are being directed where they’re most needed, said Michael Goldstein, president and CEO of Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based LAN Infotech. Making sure that MSSPs have skin in the game from both a sales and certification standpoint will yield dividends for both SonicWall and its channel partners, according to Goldstein.

SonicWall’s training site has come a long way, and Goldstein the company’s services and support teams are responsive and provide a lot of opportunities for channel partners.

“We feel it’s a great relationship,” Goldstein said. “With new programs always come new opportunities.”

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