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SonicWall is back in the channel with a plan to build a robust portfolio of IT security products designed to fuel its re-emergence as an independent company.

After being spun out of Dell prior to the tech giant’s merger of with EMC, SonicWall unveiled a revamped channel program that provides partners with additional rewards, deal protection and expanded technical support.

As an independent company, SonicWall has gone to considerable efforts to combine the best attributes of the Dell channel program with the channel program that SonicWall maintained as a business unit within Dell, David Conner, newly appointed SonicWall president and CEO, said.

In addition, SonicWall will maintain a reseller agreement with Dell EMC under which it will continue to have access to Dell channel partners, Conner said. In fact, SonicWall reported that the number of new partners offering SonicWall’s solutions has grown by 20 percent in the last year.

Next up on the SonicWall agenda, said Conner, is a significant expansion of the SonicWall product portfolio. As a unit of Dell, SonicWall lost some ground to rivals in terms of speed of new product development, Conner said. But going forward, he sees significant opportunities for SonicWall to increase its presence in virtual firewall technologies that can be delivered inside and outside the cloud as well as opportunities in the emerging internet of things (IoT) category.

Now owned by a private equity firm, SonicWall has access to the deep financial pockets required to drive those investments, Conner said.

In terms of routes to market, however, Conner reiterated SonicWall’s commitment to the channel. “We will always be channel-exclusive,” he said

Because the security company never completely lost its identity within a much larger Dell, a now-independent SonicWall has the potential to thrive more so than most other business units that might find themselves spun out of larger companies, said Alex Smith, director of channels for market research firm Canalys.

“SonicWall still has its own brand,” Smith said. “That will make all the difference.”

Mike Vizard has covered IT for more than 25 years, and has edited or contributed to a number of tech publications, including InfoWorld, CRN and eWEEK. He currently blogs daily for IT Business Edge and contributes to CIOinsight, Channel Insider and Baseline.