WatchGuard Launches Formal MSP Program

By Lawrence Walsh  |  Print this article Print


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The new program replaces an ad hoc effort that provides price and margin incentives, technical support, and joint marketing to managed service providers that use the security vendor’s appliances.

WatchGuard Technologies, a provider of firewalls and unified threat management appliances, today unveiled a formal managed services program for channel partners, providing support and incentives for solution providers that have been or want to use its equipment to deliver remote security services.

Many security solution providers and managed service providers have used WatchGuard equipment to deliver managed security services. The new program formalizes how WatchGuard interacts with and supports managed service providers, making it easier for them to do business with the vendor and provide services to their customers.

"When you take a look at where the business is going, managed services is a good fit for us," says Mark Romano, director of global channel marketing at WatchGuard.

Under the program, qualified managed security service providers will receive special pricing for new and replacement equipment, rebates on software such as WatchGuard Systems Management license, and joint marketing and technical support.

While WatchGuard maintains its partners have delivered managed security services for some time, it’s relatively late to the game compared with rivals. Cisco Systems, the largest security hardware vendor by revenue and volume, has long supported managed service providers and last spring created a price protection program just for MSPs. Fortinet and SonicWall, the next nearest rivals to WatchGuard, have been supporting managed services with products and support programs for the last four years. And Juniper Networks has a strong following in the carrier and large MSP market.

WatchGuard concedes it is a late entry and that its programs and incentives are not that much different from the ones offered by competitors. But Romano believes WatchGuard’s security products that have ranked high among security analysts for performance and functionality make the difference.

"The program may seem similar, but when you look at the program with the products, you see that there are some significant advantages," Romano says.

Lawrence Walsh Lawrence Walsh is editor of Baseline magazine, overseeing print and online editorial content and the strategic direction of the publication. He is also a regular columnist for Ziff Davis Enterprise's Channel Insider. Mr. Walsh is well versed in IT technology and issues, and he is an expert in IT security technologies and policies, managed services, business intelligence software and IT reseller channels. An award-winning journalist, Mr. Walsh has served as editor of CMP Technology's VARBusiness and GovernmentVAR magazines, and TechTarget's Information Security magazine. He has written hundreds of articles, analyses and commentaries on the development of reseller businesses, the IT marketplace and managed services, as well as information security policy, strategy and technology. Prior to his magazine career, Mr. Walsh was a newspaper editor and reporter, having held editorial positions at the Boston Globe, MetroWest Daily News, Brockton Enterprise and Community Newspaper Company.

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