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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.