Network security vendor SonicWall is launching the first MailFrontier product under the SonicWall brand, incorporating its product lines on the advice of channel partners who requested a more complete solution.

The Sunnyvale, Calif., vendor on May 2 will release e-mail security company MailFrontier’s e-mail security gateway software and appliances under the SonicWall name, effectively extending the MailFrontier market to its 10,000 resellers.

While the MailFrontier technology benefits from a wider audience, SonicWall resellers benefit from a broader solution, something they have asked for.

Addressing this need was a key motivation when SonicWall acquired MailFrontier in February, said Gleb Budman, SonicWall senior director of product management.

“The goal was to broaden the product line and make providing a solution manageable,” Budman said. “There were channel partners saying ‘I have six vendors, each with only one product. Each has a separate certification process, separate program requirements, different organizations to learn.’ VARs love it when they can get more solutions from fewer vendors.”

Having more of a solution to offer allows partners a greater opportunity to sell more and build services around sales, Budman said.

SonicWall has purchased several vendors in the past year, including Lasso Logic, a data backup vendor, and EnKoo, a VPN developer, late in 2005, to swell SonicWall’s annual revenue by $40 million to $60 million, corporate officials said.

MailFrontier’s e-mail-security gateway software and hardware check inbound and outbound e-mail traffic for viruses, phishing attacks, spam content and other threats. SonicWall’s existing portfolio includes firewall and SSL (Secure Sockets Layer)-VPN appliances, backup and recovery, and gateway anti-virus and anti-spam products.

Click here to read about Cisco’s network security strategy for the channel.

The latest release will include additional monitoring features and a new audit function that reports to administrators what happens to a message once it is received.

E-mail security provides ample opportunity for services, Budman said, including policy consultations and signature updates.

The release could boost market acceptance for MailFrontier, which acquired 2,000 customers and 100 partners (30 of which also sold SonicWall already) in its four-year history, said Budman, who came to SonicWall with the purchase. The product has been available to SonicWall’s 10,000 partners since February and now comes with the SonicWall brand.

“In the past, getting partners to even look at the company could be a slog,” he said. “We had some wins, but we could have spent the next 100 years trying to pick up 10,000 resellers. We weren’t about to spend the quarter-billion [dollars] SonicWall has to build a channel program. SonicWall has channel acceptance. We’re able to take a best-of-class product line we built and add it to that channel.”