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SonicWall’s Bill Conner, Steve Pataky Honored in CRN Top 100 Executives List for 2018

SonicWall CEO Bill Conner and Chief Revenue Officer Steve Pataky have each been named to CRN’s exclusive Top 100 Executives list for 2018.

Conner, who has held the top post at SonicWall since November 2016, is honored by CRN as one of the year’s most influential executives. Complementing that achievement, Pataky was dubbed one of the country’s elite channel sales leaders.

“Visionary and strategic leadership can make the difference between just surviving and actually excelling in this period of disruptive change for the IT channel,” said Bob Skelley, CEO, The Channel Company. “In order for technology suppliers and solution providers to thrive and stay ahead of the competition, they need leaders who are able to envision both the future of the channel and the role their organization needs to play in order to create that reality. CRN’s 2018 Top 100 Executives embody these qualities. They are change agents who deliver unwavering guidance to their companies, always asking where are we headed and not being afraid to take the necessary steps to get there.”

CRN’s annual Top 100 Executives list singles out the IT channel’s most effective CEOs — leaders who play an integral role in shaping the industry, whether by driving huge cultural shifts or forging innovative new routes to success.

This annual list recognizes leaders from the technology industry who have played an integral role in shaping today’s IT channel, whether by driving huge cultural shifts, creating rich new opportunities, or forging innovative routes to success.

Conner is among the most experienced security, data and infrastructure executives worldwide, with a career spanning over 30 years across numerous high-tech industries. A corporate turn-around expert, he’s re-engineered product lines, built world-class service organizations, re-aligned global sales organizations and created industry-leading marketing campaigns, and brokered multi-million dollar mergers, sales and acquisitions.

Conner also is a staunch supporter of public-private partnerships on cyber security, and is regularly called on to share his expertise with global leaders at major financial institutions, enterprises and governments.

Pataky is a sales and channel professional with over 25 years of experience architecting and executing global go-to-market strategies for networking and security technologies. A persistent channel advocate, Pataky builds innovative global programs and partner development strategies at scale to generate leverage and partner profitability.

Pataky has been recognized with CRN’s prestigious Channel Chiefs award for several years, including the 50 Most Influential Channel Chiefs in 2014, 2015, 2017 and 2018.

SonicWall’s Michele Campbell, Dawn Ringstaff Named to CRN’s 2018 Women of the Channel List

CRN, a brand of The Channel Company, has named two SonicWall employees, Michele Campbell and Dawn Ringstaff, to its prestigious 2018 Women of the Channel list, which recognizes top women in business for their vision, experience and influence in driving channel success.

In addition to being named to the Women of the Channel list, Campbell has the additional honor of also being recognized as a 2018 Woman of the Channel Power 100 honoree. The Power 100 belong to an exclusive group drawn from this larger list: women leaders whose vision and influence are key drivers of their company’s success and help move the entire IT channel forward.

“This accomplished group of leaders is steadily guiding the IT channel into a prosperous new era of services-led business models and deep, strategic partnerships,” said Bob Skelley, CEO of The Channel Company. “CRN’s 2018 Women of the Channel list honors executives who are driving channel progress doing will have lasting impact for years to come.”

Michele Campbell
Sr. Director, Global Channel Programs & Education Services, SonicWall

Campbell has been honored with the CRN Women of The Channel award three times over the course of her career, which includes 25 years of in-depth experience in the channel. In her role leading global channel programs and partner enablement at SonicWall, she led the charge in developing the SecureFirst Partner Program, which has had a significant impact on SonicWall in the past year with over 21,000 registered partners, 8,000 of those partners are new to SonicWall.

Campbell also introduced new partner enablement initiatives into the program, including SonicWall University to address the cybersecurity skills gap and train partners on insights gleaned by the SonicWall Capture Labs researchers, and new global marketing programs and incentives to help the SonicWall channel deliver cyber security solutions and services to small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs).

Dawn Ringstaff
Regional Sales Director, SonicWall

Leveraging her 20 years of experience working in the channel, Ringstaff leads the team that is responsible for North American partner enablement, partner profitability and overall sales growth at SonicWall. During her decade at SonicWall, she has forged deep relationships with SonicWall’s North American partners, and was recognized internally at SonicWall as last year’s top-performing director on the channel and sales team in North America. As a seasoned channel sales leader, Ringstaff has mentored countless channel sales teams and at SonicWall she has been instrumental in helping many inside sales representatives transition to highly successful field territory channel managers.

The 2018 Women of the Channel list will be featured in the June issue of CRN Magazine and online at https://www.crn.com/wotc.

In addition to CRN naming Campbell and Ringstaff to the Women of the Channel list, CRN has included SonicWall and its executives on a number of additional prestigious lists since SonicWall became an independent cybersecurity company. In the past six months, SonicWall has been recognized with the following:

SonicWall’s Steve Pataky, Chris Auger Named to CRN’s 2018 Channel Chiefs List

Today CRN, a brand of The Channel Company, named two SonicWall executives, Chris Auger and Steve Pataky, to its exclusive 2018 list of Channel Chiefs.

CRN’s editorial staff chose the executives on this elite annual list on the basis of their professional accomplishments, industry reputation and dedication to the channel partner community. Each of the 2018 Channel Chiefs have distinguished themselves by building strong partner programs and evangelizing the importance of channel partnerships.

Robert Falerta, Executive Chairman of The Channel Company, shares insight into how the list was finalized:

“The executives on CRN’s 2018 Channel Chiefs list stand out for their exceptional leadership, vision and commitment to the channel. These individuals deserve special recognition for their development and support of robust partner programs, innovative business strategy and significant contribution to the overall health of a vigorously growing channel. We applaud each Channel Chief’s impressive record of accomplishments and look forward to their future successes.”


Since Pataky and his team launched the SecureFirst Partner Program in November 2016, SonicWall has seen record partner growth numbers with an increase of 500 percent since May 2017 with more than 21,000 registered partners, 7,700 of which are new to SonicWall. In 2017, Pataky oversaw the launch of the Partner Enabled Services Program, which equips partners to deliver specialized security services including design, implementation, configuration and training to optimize customers’ SonicWall investments. Through the program, partners are vetted, granted status as a SonicWall Authorized Services Partner and given access to exclusive training, tools, sales, marketing and technical resources.

In addition to being named on the 2018 Channel Chiefs list, Steve Pataky has the additional honor of being named on CRN’s exclusive 50 Most Influential Channel Chiefs list.

Steve Pataky
SVP, Chief Revenue Officer


Chris Auger

Chris Auger joined SonicWall in December 2015 and has been instrumental in reestablishing SonicWall as a 100 percent channel company. Just four months after launching SecureFirst, Auger’s team launched SonicWall University to equip partners with the sales and technical skills needed to provide industry leading cybersecurity expertise. SonicWall University is a key component of SecureFirst, with curriculum based on intelligence gathered from SonicWall Capture Labs and threat researchers who analyze real-time data analytics derived from more than 1 million sensors worldwide.

Chris Auger
Vice President, Sales, Americas


The 2018 CRN Channel Chiefs list, including the 50 Most Influential Channel Chiefs, is featured online at www.crn.com/channelchiefs and will appear in the February 2018 issue of CRN.

CRN Recognizes SonicWall’s Steve Pataky as 2017 Channel Chief

Steve PatakyI am honored to highlight my esteemed colleague, Steve Pataky, Vice President of Worldwide Sales at SonicWall, who was just named CRN Channel Chief – the Top 50 Most Influential Channel Chiefs of 2017. Steve not only brings with him more than 25 years of experience and an industry reputation for architecting and executing global channel and go-to-market strategies, but also a deep and genuine passion for helping partners succeed. He’s been a recipient of the CRN Channel Chiefs award for several years, and was among the magazine’s 50 Most Influential Channel Chiefs in 2014, 2015 and again this year.

CRN’s 50 Most Influential Channel Chiefs of 2017 are drawn from a larger group of Channel honorees that represent the elite members of the IT channel executives – “leaders who drive the channel agenda and evangelize the importance of the channel partnerships.”

2017 Channel Chief

These are exciting times for SonicWall and our Partners. As the newly independent SonicWall we are proudly declaring that we are once again 100% channel, 100% security, 100% of the time. We are so fortunate to have the most tenured, talented and loyal Partners and I know Steve, along with the entire company, feels a deep and abiding obligation to ensure this next generation of SonicWall always puts our Partners first in our strategies and our priorities.

To that end, Steve and our channel team have launched the SonicWall SecureFirst Partner Program worldwide to our thousands of valued SonicWall Partners. SecureFirst is designed to easily give partners access to our entire security portfolio and reward them for the value they bring to selling and supporting SonicWall solutions. We’re thrilled that SecureFirst is off to a extremely fast start. In the first 90 days:

  • SecureFirst program registrations reached over 9,000 Partners across 90 countries
  • SecureFirst registrations in North America exceeded 5,900 Partners
  • SecureFirst Deal Registrations have spiked 66% in North America since divestiture

We look forward to continue helping our partners work with their customers to successfully navigate the expanding landscape of advanced threats in the cyber security arms race. We’re actively driving an industry-leading product portfolio to help customers detect and prevent breaches delivered in any vehicle, in any package, across any network and on any device. In fact, our continued innovations around the SonicWall real time breach prevention platform recently won four awards at RSA 2017 including SC Magazine Trust Award for Best UTM Security Solution for our SonicWall TZ Firewall Series.

It’s clear that with Steve as our channel chief, backed by the full commitment and resource of SonicWall, we will continue to always put our Partners first, with SecureFirst.

New SonicWall SecureFirst Partner Program -100% Security, 100% SonicWall

Today is an exciting day for SonicWall and our channel partners.  As part of SonicWall’s transition to an independent company owned by Francisco Partners and Elliot Management and to affirm our 100% channel strategy, we are launching the new SonicWall SecureFirst Partner Program.  We thought long and hard on what to name our new program.  So why SecureFirst?  SECURE – because for SonicWall, security is our mission – it’s all we do and it’s what motivates us every day – to protect our customers from the constantly evolving cyber threat landscape.  And FIRST – because our partners and customers always come first!

SecureFirst is now the way our channel partners worldwide access the entire SonicWall portfolio of technology and solutions – from our best-in-class next-generation firewalls, SonicWall Capture for advanced threat protection, access security, email security and Security-as-a-Service.  With SecureFirst, all of these solutions will continue to be available through SonicWall’s network of valued Distributors, so partners can continue to source SonicWall products uninterrupted, in the way they are accustomed. Partners will find several program levels in SecureFirst, allowing them to commit to SonicWall solutions at a level that is right for their security practices. With the different levels of commitment to the program come differentiated levels of rewards and benefits. Central to the new program is Reward for Value, SonicWall’s partner profitability framework that rewards partners for the value they bring to selling, implementing, and supporting SonicWall solutions. Both up-front discounts and back-end rewards have all been refreshed with the new program and are optimized for partners growing their security practice with SonicWall. New sales and technical enablement will become available as well as new programs to help partners leverage greater services and support opportunity with their SonicWall solutions.  When you add it all up, SecureFirst has the horsepower to deliver high performance and deep security solutions with unparalleled protection for your customers, while driving accelerated reward and value for your business.

Sign up for SecureFirst today. We encourage all partners – whether you are legacy SonicWall, legacy Dell or a new partner looking to onboard with SonicWall — to enroll in the SecureFirst Partner Program.  The process is simple and straightforward. Further details can be found at the new partner website www.sonicwall.com/partners.

With a twenty-five year legacy as a security industry leader, we couldn’t be more excited about the launch of the new program.  Partnering has always been at the heart of SonicWall’s strategy and the partner program is an important part of that.  But equally important is the commitment we make to the channel and the deliberate dependence we have on our partners.  And the entire SonicWall team of security professionals that is dedicated to the success of our partners and their customers. These things will never change.  They are just as much a part of the new SonicWall as they’ve always been.  Thanks for investing in your partnership with the new SonicWall.  As always, we want to hear from you.  Find us on Twitter @SonicWall and @sppataky.

“We are pleased that the Secure First Partner Program rewards committed partners for the value they provide to customers, provides sufficient product margin and rebates, and offers discounted training and incentives for new SonicWall partners to grow their SonicWall practice.

Western NRG has been working with SonicWall exclusively for over a decade. We provide customers with custom-fit SonicWall configuration, ongoing appliance management, network reporting, and expert network security support. We are excited for what lies ahead as SonicWall begins this new chapter and continues to deliver the world’s best security solutions.” Said Timothy Martinez, President and CEO of Western NRG, Inc.

“For over a decade, SonicWall has been such a great and valuable partner across Latin America. A channel-centric vendor that provides profitable growth opportunity for us and our resellers on the cyber security segment helping small, medium and large customers to protect their infrastructure and applications,” said Rafael Paloni, President Latin America, Network1 ScanSource.

PEAK16: SonicWall—A Nimble, Strategic Channel Partner

As PEAK16 comes to a close, I would like to recap some of the highlights from the numerous conversations with our world class and loyal VAR community.

From the stage, the close to 744 channel partners in attendance heard about the latest ways to protect customers while ensuring IT is a business enabler, especially in light of the growing pervasiveness of ransomware. I trust that all those who attended are leaving Las Vegas with expanded knowledge, tools and solutions to equip their customers to open their own ‘Department of Yes.’  We have an amazing VAR base who deploy and manage secure networks for 32 percent of the SME market (According to Infonetics Q1 2016).

We highlighted the new SonicWall Capture Advance Threat Protection Service which is fully operational and provides arguably the best Advanced Persistent Threat (APT) and ransomware prevention in the market. This cloud based service, available with SonicWall firewalls, provides advanced threat detection and sandboxing with a multi-engine approach to stopping unknown and zero-day attacks at the gateway and with automated remediation.

New Cloud Security Management Solution to meet growing demand for Security-as-a-Service

In order to help our VARs drive operational efficiency and meet the growing demand for security-as-a-service, SonicWall announced a technology preview of its Cloud Security Management Solution. This Cloud Global Management System (GMS) will enable partners to scale even faster, with streamlined deployment, management and reporting. We are in beta today.

PEAK16—The Buzz in the Halls

Beyond the official keynotes and breakout sessions, the buzz at Peak16 was around the upcoming acquisition of SonicWall by Francisco Partners and Evergreen. Announced earlier this summer, the sale will allow SonicWall to become an even more nimble and strategic network security solution provider. Our new Secure First Partner Program will help partners differentiate their offerings in the marketplace, while ensuring we provide the right partners increased profitability based on the level of value they provide to our customers.

“I started attending SonicWall’s PEAK again since it relaunched in 2014. During this period my company has grown in excess of 30 percent each year with SonicWall network security solutions and as a result just recently outgrew our office space and relocated to our own building two weeks ago. I don’t think this growth is by any accident, as the networking, contacts and content at these PEAK16 Conferences leave me charged up with new ideas and seeking new opportunities to expand our business,” said Steven J. Ryder, president, True North Networks, LLC.

It was great to reconnect in-person with our channel partners at PEAK16. Thanks to our loyal partner network, our solutions are actively providing secure access to more than one million networks, ranging from small businesses to leading retail and education institutions.

New SonicWall Capture Enraptures Partners at Annual PEAK16

Today’s advanced threats are designed to evade detection. An explosion of zero-day threats challenges every one of us. In 2015 alone, our solutions blocked more than 8.19 billion attacks. And most recently, the onslaughts of ransomware attacks have escalated an environment of fear. How do you defend against unknown zero-day threats? How can you turn that fear into greater security confidence? How can you say YES to new IT projects without regret? Many of the answers will be highlighted at SonicWall PEAK16.

This week, I am honored, as keynote speaker, to present the current market challenges and SonicWall’s strategic solutions at the PEAK16 Conference. Attending the conference at the Aria in Las Vegas is a sold-out crowd of more than 700 channel partners focused on network security. The conference will have a heavy focus on SonicWall Capture Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) and Content Filtering Service 4.0. We are also providing a tech preview of our Cloud Global Management System (GMS).

These are just a few of the solutions we will cover that will help turn fear and hesitation into confidence and progress. The PEAK16 Conference doesn’t stop there. We’ll spend two and half days covering more than 30 breakout sessions and providing both technical as well as business focused content to better enable our partners to better protect their customers. Our customers are already benefiting from SonicWall Capture.

Photo of the audience at PEAK 2016

“We did some evaluations of other sandbox solutions, but SonicWall Capture was the easiest to implement and most cost effective to license and manage. Because it’s offered as an upgrade to our firewall and only requires a firmware update, testing and eventual deployment into a production environment was really easy. We are looking at utilizing this at our other sites as we focus on multiple, layered approaches to security,” stated Zachary A. Radke of Santa Fe Senior Living.

Congratulations to all our partners who are making an investment in time and travel. We are proud to work with you to deliver world-class security. Let’s turn fear and doubt into confidence. Let’s find all the different ways we need to say YES!

SonicWall Announces New “Reward for Value” for Channel Partners

I like cars. All kinds of cars. From high speed racers, to utility pickups and even classics like the 1961 Corvette I’m looking to restore in my spare time. Partner programs are a lot like cars. Some are basic and get you from point A to point B. Others are high performance vehicles designed to thrill. As we announce the new  SonicWall Secure First partner program and Reward for Value incentives at our PEAK16 conference this week in Las Vegas, we’ll unveil a program that I’d like to believe has a lot of horsepower, gives its drivers great controls, and is a dependable ride.

At the heart of the new program are our partnering engines designed to help our partners deliver the best security possible to protect their customers while creating more value for their business. We’ve tuned up all the partnering engines Incentives, Enablement, Support and Services.

For the incentive engine, “Reward for Value” recognizes and rewards partners for the full value they contribute to selling and supporting SonicWall solutions across the entire customer lifecycle. Whether it’s hunting a new sales opportunity, delivering a proof of concept, attaching incremental security services subscriptions to a sale or demonstrating vertical market expertise, Reward for Value delivers balanced up-front discounts and back-end rewards.

We’re also revving up new partner sales and SE trainings and accreditation tracks all built on a new partner enablement platform that delivers rich media training content and sales tools designed around the customer lifecycle. The new accreditations will provide valuable general knowledge on the threat landscape and cyber security, as well as on the latest SonicWall solutions like SonicWall Capture our new advanced threat protection offering.

Additionally, the Authorized Support Partner program is being announced to help partners builds out profitable support and services practices with their SonicWall solutions. Rich with support and services enablement that will ensure together we deliver customer success, this new program will recognize and reward Partners for owning their customers through deployment, support, optimization and upgrades. We’re also highlighting the momentum we’re building with our Security-as-a-Service and how partners can deliver managed security services on the SonicWall platform.

With close to 750 Partners attending from across the Americas, this is our largest and most successful partner event in the history of SonicWall. In fact, I’ve talked to Partners here who have attended every Peak we’ve hosted over 14 years! Talk about a loyal and dedicated Partner base. It’s humbling and an honor to count these companies among our Partners. And speaking of great Partners, I want to thank our platinum sponsors for co-sponsoring this annual event Tech Data, D&H Distributing, Securematics, SYNNEX and Ingram Micro. Without them none of this would have happened.

Our Americas business is running on all cylinders, the partnering engines are revving up and we’re thrilled to launch our Secure First partner program and Reward for Value. With the partner feedback and validation we’re receiving at PEAK, we’ve got our eyes focused on the road ahead and together with our Partners are speeding toward even greater success.

“SonicWall has proven to be a winner for us in our security practice. We have had a number of wins against other security products because of the support provided by SonicWall. PEAK16 is in that it enables me to engage with peers and enhance my skills,” says Jeffrey Grant, vice president of Tri-Delta Resources Corp.

“SonicWall understands partner challenges, enabling us to deliver thousands of customer centric solutions over the 25 years,” said Joseph Tassia, president of Nuoz.

I am meeting one-on-one with our partners this week to listen and help them further with their security mission. Follow @SonicWall on Twitter and SonicWall on Facebook with #YesPeak16 to join in the conversation and get updates. We want to hear from you.

Tech Data and SonicWall Partner to Build Industry Leading Security Solutions

The following is a guest post from Sid Earley, Vice President, SonicWall Solutions Group, Tech Data Corp.

The Peak 2016 conference is taking place next week from Aug. 28-31 in Las Vegas. The partner education conference offers an opportunity to learn and explore how to push beyond traditional boundaries and safely dive into cloud, mobility and the Internet of Things. It’s an opportunity to gain insights about security trends, ways to grow their business with SonicWall. As a distribution sponsor,Tech Data is proud to partner with SonicWall to provide education and consulting for resellers focused on industry-leading solutions.

As the need for security solutions have increased, so has the number and complexity of cyber threats. According to Gartner, the market for cybersecurity software and services is about $75 billion, and is expected to reach $170 billion by 2020. Tech Data is committed to developing security solutions that help identify, protect against and respond to this rapidly evolving landscape. Tech Data offers comprehensive security solutions that meet the evolving needs of this dynamic market, helping you protect your business and your customers’ data.

While our Tech Data Cloud business unit has been enabling our customers for more than five years, and continue to innovate, we recently introduced two new dedicated teams to further support our customers in a very dynamic market. In May, Tech Data launched its Security and Information Management business unit, which is strategically focused on the delivery of customer enablement tools, including security assessments and professional services, to help solution providers build security practices and increase their overall knowledge of the market. In July, Tech Data launched its new Internet of Things (IoT) business practice, Smart IoT Solutions by Tech Data. The new practice is designed to aggregate IoT solutions and provides a simplified route to the rapidly expanding IoT market for solution providers.

Tech Data also provides best-in-class customer service and customized partner enablement programs including sales and technical training, lead generation and marketing services. We are committed to arming you with the tools and services your business’s security network needs to grow your business and meet evolving market demands, reduce distractions and ultimately increase profitability.

 Curtis Hutcheson, VP and GM of SonicWall and One Identity

SonicWall offers industry-leading security solutions. Together with Tech Data’s dedicated team of industry experts including software licensing specialists, system engineers, and product sales champions we will work with you and your sales team to establish a customized, value-added channel enablement strategy that works for your business.

Please plan to visit us at booth #103 during the event for a one-on-one consultation. See you in Las Vegas!

Engage in event activities and follow the conversation on Twitter at @SonicWall and @Tech_Data using the conference hashtag #YesPeak16.

Ingram Micro and SonicWall at PEAK: Innovating Security Solutions Sales Cycle

Note: This is a guest blog post by Eric Kohl, Vice President, Advanced Solutions, Network Security, Ingram Micro

With a proliferation of devices and increasingly sophisticated threats driving expanded opportunity around security, I think we can all agree that it’s worth the time and trouble to build a robust security practice. Our role at Ingram Micro is to show you ways to shorten the security sales cycle to help drive profitability while also positioning your business as a trusted security adviser.

While we have a dedicated team of SonicWall experts who will help you go to market with confidence, I’d like to challenge you to think beyond that to the other ways Ingram Micro can support your security practice. You can do that at the upcoming annual SonicWall PEAK16 Conference, Aug. 28-31 at the Aria in Las Vegas where we are a platinum sponsor and looking forward to meeting all of the 700 attendees. We offer security consulting and education, channel enablement services, and marketing support that help you profitably sell SonicWall solutions. We also provide real-time support, certified technical expertise, technology help desks, dedicated order management and more, so that you can provide your customers with the most up-to-date security solutions and support available. But what you might not know is how our portfolio of professional services can help you better protect your existing customers and open the door to new ones. Identifying weaknesses and vulnerabilities in your customers’ infrastructure can provide a springboard for discussions about the impact of those gaps in security coverage, drastically shortening the sales cycle by providing tests and assessments as an extension of your team’s experts, and following up with reporting and consultation. Once we’ve identified those weaknesses, our technology consulting team can back you up with proof of concept and demos all geared to help you fully secure all of your customers’ environment from devices through the network and right into the cloud.

Attendees at Peak Performance 2015

At PEAK16 next week in the Solutions Expo, stop by Ingram Micro Booth 101 to learn more about how Ingram Micro can help you shorten the sales cycle. (Plus, when you drop your business card at the booth, you could win a yeti cooler in our raffle!). Follow the conversation on Twitter with the conference hashtag #YesPeak16 @SonicWall and @IngramTechSol.

See you there!


Eric Kohl, Vice President Advanced Solutions, Network Security, Ingram Micro

Eric Kohl serves as vice president, Ingram Micro’s Security Business Unit, responsible for driving the strategy and execution of U.S. sales, vendor management, marketing and market development efforts for IT vendors and solution providers within that business unit. Since joining Ingram Micro in 1998, Eric has served as senior vendor business manager for Ingram Micro U.S. and worked in various roles in both product management and purchasing. Originally from the East Coast, Eric lives in sunny California with his wife and two children. He remains a die-hard Red Sox fan, is an avid reader and hack golfer.