Dell Inc. is attempting to woo more traditional resellers into its SonicWall security fold, even those that have yet to build out a security business. For the channel, that “more the merrier” mentality comes as a reaffirmation that the firm is continuing to place its bets in security arenas amid a monster transition that aims to steer the company away from its hardware heritage and toward a more lucrative enterprise services market.
The latest campaign, which targets the Round Rock, Tex.-based PC manufacturer’s more traditional resellers, is designed to push them toward SonicWall’s higher value enterprise security services. Thus far, Dell SonicWall has managed to compel around 350 resellers in its UK division to make the leap, according to ChannelWeb U.K.
An effort to stretch its PartnerDirect resellers into security — and specifically SonicWall — markets applies to North American channels as well, although the company stopped short of confirming a specific campaign spurring the initiative.
“Integration of SonicWall, and all of our acquisitions, into Dell’s award winning PartnerDirect program certainly offers additional cross-selling opportunities for our channel partners. We encourage all of our PartnerDirect partners around the globe to look at how Dell’s expanding portfolio of solutions can help them grow their business and build out the future of computing, whether software, cloud, product or services,” the company said in an e-mail to Channelnomics.
Dell SonicWall has meanwhile been laying the groundwork for this kind of campaign in recent months. The unified threat management subsidiary of Dell recently prepped a new advanced SonicWall certification, in the form of ramped up education and training, intended as a channel draw for traditional resellers wanting to get their feet wet in Dell’s network security arena.
The concerted security push was further underscored after Dell SonicWall revamped a live demo tool that added iOS and Android compatibility, increased global reach and an expanded traffic capabilities.
And when all’s done, its rejuvenated channel efforts will likely extend SonicWall’s once narrowly focused unified threat management market presence to a much broader base of Dell customers, a move that will raise its profile and give it greater market reach that could represent a strong leg up against competitors.
It’s a space that is gaining market momentum. A TechNavio forecast projected the global next generation firewall market (NGFW) to rise at a CAGR of 16.59 percent between 2011 and 2015, fueled by regulatory requirements, along with an increase in network monitoring and bandwidth consumption.
That said, the market is also defined by a host of relentless competitors that include Palo Alto Networks, Inc., Fortinet, Inc. and WatchGuard Technologies, Inc. – all of which are attempting to differentiate with competitive new offerings and features in order to swipe larger pieces of the enterprise market from challengers.
Efforts thus far appear to be paying off. Since Dell acquired SonicWall in March 2012, the UTM firm has emerged as a strong and viable player in the more enterprise-focused next generation firewall (NGFW) market.Now Dell SonicWall is taking those efforts up a few notches, placing renewed emphasis, and presumably resources, into the enterprise NGFW market and overall channel strategy.
And with good reason: the firm’s once mainstay hardware business is on a rapid decline in light of disruptive trends such as mobility, cloud and virtualization that diminish traditional desktop PCs demand.
Post PC trends were further underscored by plummeting PC sales that caused an 11 percent revenue decline compounded by a 47 percent drop in come at the close of Dell’s third fiscal quarter.
And while Dell’s enterprise software and security services efforts are well underway, the trajectory is still painfully slow. Even now, and possibly for the near future, Dell will have its back against the wall as it attempts to shed its retro attire for a sleeker, more contemporary look and feel. Uniting its channel and bolstering partner ranks seems to be the most obvious way to give its security ambitions a bit of a jumpstart and rapidly put the firm a few paces ahead on its path to meeting its stated objectives.
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