How the All-New SecureFirst Partner Program Puts Partners First

For more than 30 years, SonicWall’s successes have been made possible by our vibrant and growing partner community. They’re more than just partners to us — they’re trusted ambassadors for SonicWall, trusted advisors for their customers, and trusted experts in the field of cybersecurity at large.

And in turn, they’ve relied on us to keep innovating, and to continue delivering products and solutions that safeguard networks around the globe. This level of mutual trust isn’t just beneficial — it’s crucial. Not only does it help ensure shared success, it also enables a greater level of collaboration in fostering that success.

As we began looking to update and enhance our award-winning SecureFirst partner program more than a year ago, this collaboration helped form the basis of those efforts. No one has a better idea of what a partner program should look like than our partners themselves. We asked our partners what they wanted to see in a partner program, and what would most effectively help drive their success.

The result? An all-new SecureFirst partner program that truly puts our valuable partner community first. It represents the next step of SonicWall’s outside-in approach to listening to partners, and also serves as an investment in the growth and prosperity of those who have driven SonicWall’s success.

First Things First

Our global channel community is highly diverse, comprising more than 17,000 partners serving in every industry, in just about every country you can think of. As we spoke with partners, we got a more complete picture of the challenges and opportunities faced by our partner community at large. The invaluable feedback we received informed significant enhancements to the SecureFirst program, with an emphasis on the key areas most frequently mentioned.

This new era of SecureFirst is designed to give partners more of what they need to be successful, to reduce time spent and to maximize value. We increased Marketing Development Funds to foster mutual growth, lowered the threshold for partners to achieve rebates, increased discounts and provided highly competitive customer deal registration.

These enhancements empower each individual partner to thrive and excel in their respective industries, while leveraging their own unique business models.

Our goal with these changes is to take a more active role in helping our partners grow their businesses.

On Track to Succeed

But with such a diverse group of partners, we’ve acknowledged from the beginning that finding any kind of one-size-fits-all approach would be impossible.

That’s why the new SonicWall SecureFirst Partner Program consists of two separate tracks: Velocity and Mastery. The Velocity track emphasizes speed to market and a lightweight experience, while the Mastery track is for those looking to become experts in the SonicWall platform.

These tracks ensure that partners can choose their level of engagement with SonicWall — but regardless of their choice, partners will have access to competitive pricing and tools to increase efficiency.

Superior Benefits for Service Providers

As threats become more sophisticated and the attack surface continues to grow, many organizations are now enlisting the help of Managed Service Providers (MSPs) and Managed Security Service Providers (MSSPs). These “virtual CIOs” help shield their customers’ cloud-based, on-premises or hybrid IT environments from cyberattacks.

But while the demand for these service providers continues to increase, so do the demands placed on them. After speaking with MSP/MSSP partners specifically, SonicWall developed the Service Provider Overlay to help meet the specific needs of our service provider partners.

Designed to work in combination with the Velocity and Mastery tracks, the SecureFirst Service Provider Overlay was developed to accommodate any business strategy.

This option offers access to simple and flexible pricing and billing models, exclusive tools, personalized support, monthly billing options with no commitment, and more. When they partner with SonicWall, service providers get increased earning potential and profitability as SonicWall invests in their practice, and their customers get a broad portfolio of best-in-class cybersecurity solutions.

The Tools You Need to Drive the Outcomes You Want

We know it doesn’t help anyone when the most powerful tools for driving success are only available to those who are already successful. With SecureFirst, partners gain access to SonicWall partner benefits from the beginning, without having to dive into training or business planning commitments.

These benefits are designed to bolster every aspect of a partner’s business and fall into four major categories: Awareness, Sales, Enablement, and Technical Assistance. They range from the SonicWall Partner Marketing Playbook and readymade campaign materials to deal registration and access to a wide range of subject matter experts.

Isn’t It Time You Came First?

You already know SonicWall offers best-in-class products at a lower total cost of ownership. And with its industry-leading collection of benefits, a clearly defined path for advancement, and flexibility built directly into the program, we’re confident you’ll find the enhanced SecureFirst Partner Program offers a superior partner experience as well.

New partners will begin seeing these changes at the time of onboarding. However, to help ensure a smooth transition to the new program, there will be no immediate changes to how existing partners do business with us. These partners will have ample time (until Feb. 1, 2024) to collaborate closely with the SonicWall team regarding switching to the new program.

Learn more about the improvements coming to the SecureFirst Partner Program— and if you’re ready to start enjoying the benefits of our SecureFirst Partner Program, sign up to become a partner today!

Sonic Boom: Getting to Know the New SonicWall

In the months after I graduated college, I wasn’t yet sure what I wanted to do next. After attempts to join both the military and the Peace Corps fell through, the possibilities stretched endlessly before me — seemingly in all directions. Hoping to make some connections, I ended up at an alumni event, where another attendee was asking the usual questions about my major.

“Global business and marketing,” I told him. “But I don’t know what I want to do yet.”

“Can you sell me a router?” he asked.

“I don’t know what a router is,” I replied. “But if you teach me, I’ll sell you three of them.”

That man turned out to be the area VP at a major technology company — and that conversation marked the start of a networking and cybersecurity career that would span 18 years and counting.

During this time, I’ve worked with partners of all stripes, leading, developing and growing channel ecosystems at Cisco, Office Depot/CompuCom, JS Group and Cisco again. While working in the channel, I’ve also become increasingly involved with driving Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DE&I) initiatives and developing the next generation of channel talent.

So, when the opportunity arose to become the new North America Channel Chief for SonicWall, it seemed like a natural next step. SonicWall has long been committed to greater inclusivity and is currently shifting to a more outside-in channel approach. Combined with the company’s recent tremendous growth, I firmly believe there’s never been a more exciting time to be a part of SonicWall — or to partner with SonicWall.

We’re going in a great new direction, but what a lot of people don’t realize is that we’ve already come so far. Now that you’ve gotten to know a little about me, I’d like to be among the first to introduce you to the new SonicWall.

We are not owned by Dell.

I’m a little surprised we still hear this. At this point, we’ve been spun off from Dell for longer than we were part of them (SonicWall was acquired by Dell in 2012, and became its own company in 2016). If anything, it’s a testament to the amazing brand recognition the Dell name gave SonicWall at the time.

But while there are benefits to being under a big brand, there can also be drawbacks. When we became a private entity again seven years ago, that transition offered us a chance to adjust our corporate roadmap and decide what we wanted the next era of SonicWall to look like. As an independent company, SonicWall has been able to act even more quickly in serving and strengthening relationships with our channel partners and customers.

We’re not just firewalls.

Another thing that emerged from this new direction is the expansion of our product portfolio. The recent investments in people, processes and technology have allowed us to move beyond our core offering of firewalls and reimagine SonicWall in a way that would not previously have been possible.

Today, we offer a full suite of solutions designed to stop targeted cyberattacks, including physical firewalls supporting deployments of all sizes, virtual firewalls, endpoint protection, email and application security, zero-trust network access, wireless security, remote workforce security, distributed network security, and more.

We’re not new to the game.

During the past few years, SonicWall has grown tremendously in every market we serve — and at the same time, our actionable threat intelligence has made us a recognized thought leader in the cybersecurity space. While this energy is typically associated with startups and new companies, in reality SonicWall has been serving the cybersecurity market for more than three decades.

But our status as a highly established brand doesn’t mean we’re “legacy,” mothballed or moribund. The past three decades have brought near-constant change — and each of these events has offered us the opportunity to stop and say, “Who does SonicWall want to be now? And what can we do today, that maybe we couldn’t do five years ago or five months ago, to work toward that vision?”

The result is a company that has 30 years of threat intelligence combined with a very entrepreneurial mindset. We have passion, energy and grit to propel us forward, but we have history, reputation and expertise underpinning and enriching this momentum.

The recent supply-chain challenges we saw arise due to the COVID-19 pandemic are a good example of this. While other companies were running waitlists and backorders, SonicWall was consistently able to deliver 95% of orders in three days or less — despite being amid a period of unprecedented growth.

If we hadn’t been both experienced enough to see these changes coming, and agile enough to get ahead of them, we wouldn’t have been able to deliver for our customers and partners when very few others could.

This sweet spot also positions us well for future growth: We’ve been around awhile, but we’re also in a place where we can be creative and innovative. We can build on our past, but we aren’t beholden to it.

We aren’t just in the SMB space.

After heading up the small-business advisory council at Cisco and working to translate their offerings to MSPs, it felt natural to join a company looking to grow their MSP and MSSP offerings, particularly one that caters to SMBs (small and medium-sized businesses) as well as global enterprises.

Unlike many other cybersecurity companies, however, we don’t see this as an either/or proposition. At SonicWall, our goal isn’t just to be a cybersecurity vendor. We will continue to be a big player in the SMB market, but we also want to be a strategic partner that creates the solutions and programs you need to grow your business at any size.

In this way, our continued expansion into the enterprise market doesn’t just benefit enterprise customers. It benefits our SMB customers as well: If we have an existing relationship with an SMB customer, that relationship can continue as their business grows.

It benefits our partners, too: As growing businesses continue their journey with SonicWall, this gives our partners access to bigger deals, boosting their businesses as well. We all help one another grow, and we all benefit from this growth.

We don’t sell to end organizations.

As a 100% channel-driven company, our partner community isn’t just important to us — it’s our lifeblood. Our 17,000 partners (more than 9,000 in North America alone) are the extension of SonicWall’s mission. They’re the trusted advisors to our customers, and we’re working hard to ensure they’re supported.

Increased responsiveness and agility are steps to this goal, but the biggest one is collaboration. Rather than operating in a vacuum and telling partners and customers what we think they need, we want to hear from you.

We may know what the threat landscape looks like, but what does this mean for you specifically? How can we incorporate the right programs, products, solutions, incentives, education, training, enablement — all of it — to make sure you have what you need to be successful and protect your customers?

Our outside-in approach starts with CEO Bob VanKirk and flows down through every employee, in every department, in every country. It’s built around acknowledging the work our partners put in and understanding your needs and pain points. Your work has made our success possible. We couldn’t be more grateful for that, and it’s our goal to continue working to better support and enable you across every function and team.

SonicWall isn’t just another cybersecurity vendor.

I know every company says this, but I truly believe it. What differentiates us from the other 4,327 security companies in the world is that we have the best combination of incredibly great products, at a reasonable price, with wonderful support. Even before I worked here, I was struck by the love that people have for SonicWall. I think a big part of that is the amount of care that we have for our partners and customers. SonicWall has heart.

We frequently hear about experiences at other vendors where people couldn’t find anyone to support them or talk with them about issues because everybody was too busy swimming upstream. But they didn’t feel insignificant at SonicWall. We make the time to offer great service to small and large organizations alike, and our leadership is accessible and wants to help. I’ve been known to give out my email address and personal cell on LinkedIn, because it’s important for me to make sure that everyone has some point of connection. If you have a problem and haven’t heard from anybody, let me know!

None of this means we’re perfect, of course — but when we do get it wrong, we want to make it right. My very first day on the job, I was approached by a partner who said, “Congratulations on your new role. Unfortunately, I’m moving to [a competitor].”

After learning that it was a support issue, we immediately organized a meeting with him, his boss, his support team, myself, and our sales and product folks. We apologized for their trouble, we asked what we could do to help, and then … we just listened. By the end of the call, they had not only chosen to stay with SonicWall, they had also joined our Partner Advisory Council (PAC) so that they could keep giving input and stay involved.

While we were thrilled to keep them as a partner, my favorite part of that story is how we came together to demonstrate that we really cared. We offer quality solutions at a reasonable price, but we recognize that people don’t buy on solutions alone. People buy from those they like, know and trust.

And this goes double when choosing partners. We want to help you reimagine the future of SonicWall with us working alongside you. In the coming months, you’ll be hearing about some new and exciting changes to SonicWall’s partner vision. These changes represent the next step toward continuing to support you as we work together toward an even more successful 2024 and beyond.

Monthly Firewall Services Option for Simplicity and Scalability

SonicWall has spent the past several years expanding its portfolio and capabilities, staying ahead of supply-chain disruption, continuing to deliver industry-leading TCO to our customers, and using an outside-in approach to support and enable our partner community.

To better match the way that MSPs and MSSPs go to market, SonicWall is now offering a monthly firewall security services option for our bundled protection tiers. With this new procurement option, partners can better serve customers who are price-sensitive, desire greater scalability or simply don’t want to be bound by the usual services’ contract terms. Customers can now pay one monthly price for the cybersecurity services bundle that best fits their needs — all with no commitment.

In the past, customers would purchase firewall security services with their firewall and enter into either a year-long or three-year service agreement. But today’s businesses, confronted with volatile economic forces, fluctuating work-from-home arrangements and mounting cybersecurity requirements, wanted greater scalability and flexibility. And their MSPs and MSSPs, many of whom are members of our partner community, wanted to be able to meet these needs.

This new pricing structure offers a number of benefits to our partners, but one of the biggest is simplicity.

Unlike with some competitor programs, there are no complicated point systems to keep track of and no minimum credit upkeep needed to maintain licenses. In fact, partners don’t need to make any upfront purchases at all: billing is done in arrears — with post-pay rather than prepay. In other words, partners are charged based on their consumption at the end of the month, and end users only pay for what they use.

Here’s a summary of all the ways our SecureFirst MSSP/MSP partners can benefit by leveraging the new monthly firewall services option:

  • Bundle and Bill the Top Cybersecurity Services: SonicWall-approved MSPs and MSSPs can now bill customers monthly for SonicWall’s popular cybersecurity services included in three cost-effective protection tiers for Gen 7 appliances: Threat Protection Security Suite, Essential Protection Security Suite and Advanced Protection Security Suite (see below).
  • No More POs: Standard processes often require a purchase order and sales cycle. This works fine for one-time or long-term purchases, however, it doesn’t align with modern MSSP and MSP strategies and adds complication, overhead and roadblocks. SonicWall’s monthly firewall services option offers a no-commit, in arrears billing option for bundled firewall security services by providing integrated billing and license provisioning — all while reducing upfront costs.
  • No More Missed Renewals: With bundled firewall security services conveniently billed each month, MSSPs and approved MSPs never need to worry about missing the renewal period for multi-year agreements. This results in a smoother customer experience — and since it reduces the chance that essential protections can lapse, a safer one as well.
  • Bring or Buy the Hardware: MSSPs/MSPs now have the option of either adding monthly security services to existing current-generation TZ and NSa Series firewalls or provisioning licenses on new firewalls for customer deployments. This ensures partners won’t need to wait until it’s time for an equipment upgrade to offer this option to their customers.
  • Automate Routing Billing Processes: To further simplify billing, SonicWall partners can integrate and automate monthly customer billing for supported professional services automation (PSA) tools, such as ConnectWise and Autotask.
  • Leverage Powerful Reporting and Analytics: When SonicWall Network Security Manager (NSM) Essential or Advanced licenses are added to firewall security services, partners can leverage additional management, reporting and analytics capabilities while still staying on a convenient monthly billing structure.
  • Expand Service Offerings: New monthly firewall security services join Managed Endpoint Security, Managed Remote Access, Managed Cloud Application Security and Managed Email Security to form a deep and comprehensive security platform offering for MSSPs and MSPs.

Protection, Procurement and Pricing: How Customers Benefit

SonicWall firewall security services offer popular cybersecurity technology such as Intrusion Prevention Services (IPS), Application Control, Content Filtering Services (CFS), Gateway Anti-Malware and SonicWall Capture Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) with patented Real-Time Deep Memory Inspection (RTDMITM).

These services protect customers in real time, safeguarding them from threats such as malware, ransomware, viruses, intrusions, botnets, spyware, trojans, worms and other malicious attacks. And with no opportunities for services to lapse, customers retain around-the-clock protection from the most advanced and persistent cyberattacks.

Customers who want to leverage monthly firewall services don’t even have to purchase an SKU: By simply visiting the SonicWall portal and pressing a couple of buttons, they can enable the services they need in an instant.

Which Bundle is Best for Your Customer?

Three bundles — Threat Protection Security Suite, Essential Protection Security Suite and Advanced Protection Security Suite — are available for monthly billing.

A comparison table showcasing SonicWall's cybersecurity solution bundles.

Here’s a short breakdown of the bundles:

  • Threat Protection Security Suite: The most basic level of protection, this bundle is capable of stopping known threats. It offers IPS, Gateway Anti-Malware, Application Control and more, and is available on TZ Series firewall appliances only.
  • Essential Protection Security Suite: With the addition of Comprehensive Anti-Spam and Capture ATP with RTDMI, this bundle is capable of stopping both known and unknown threats. Capture ATP is a cloud-based, multi-engine sandbox designed to identify and block never-before-seen and zero-day attacks at the gateway.
  • Advanced Protection Security Suite: This bundle is capable of stopping unknown threats at scale. The management capabilities offered with Network Security Manager (NSM) Cloud Management and NSM Cloud Reporting are game-changing for MSPs or customers with multiple units. NSM delivers a single console for managing every SonicWall firewall in an environment, including the ability to deploy a standard configuration to all units. NSM also helps with keeping firmware up to date — saving hours spent addressing each appliance individually and the worry that a missed appliance could serve as an entry point for attackers. These efficiency gains free admins up to focus on more important tasks, such as preventing threats and addressing attacks when they do occur.

Regardless of which bundle is chosen, end customers will have access to 24/7 support, including firmware updates, hardware replacement and a world-class online support portal.

How to Start Offering Monthly Firewall Security Services

The new monthly billing option is available now for SonicWall MSSP Program partners. Existing SonicWall SecureFirst MSPs and MSSPs may apply for monthly billing models through the Partner Portal.

To learn more about SonicWall Firewall Security Services, read the solution brief.