SonicWALL Inc. added deal registrations as well as new enterprise and managed service provider specializations to its channel programs.
This week's rollout of what SonicWALL calls its Channel 2.0 program coincides with the debut of a new SSL VPN appliance for enterprises and a new security appliance for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs).
Deal registration is something most tech vendors offer to minimize channel conflict. VARs can enter nascent deals into the system to protect them from poaching by rival resellers or, in some cases, the vendor's own direct sales teams.
"That is a big thing for us," said Todd Barrett, director of sales for CPU Sales & Service Inc., a Woburn, Mass., SonicWALL Gold partner. "Up till now, SonicWALL had kind of a makeshift system -- we'd call our rep if there was a problem. Now the process is programmatic."
A new enterprise specialization within the Gold partner tier is also a plus. "That gives us a comfort level dealing with bigger accounts," Barrett said.
That Enterprise Integrator specialization is limited to Gold partners that target enterprise and mid-tier accounts and that are knowledgeable and trained on SonicWALL's Aventail lineup, said Ted Hulsy, senior manager of channel marketing for SonicWALL.
Only these select Enterprise Integrator partners can sell SonicWALL Aventail E-class Secure Remote Access (SRA) product. These partners can get two free evaluation units to jump-start sales. When a deal closes, SonicWALL will pay up to $1,000 for professional services directly to the partner. Enterprise-class partners also have priority access to SonicWALL's enterprise sales engineers and dedicated post-sales tech support.
The new MSP specialization is limited to Gold partners that sell or want to sell "security as a service." These partners must be able to provide first-tier tech support and help desk services to their users and to field three certified engineers on staff.
SonicWALL has 7,230 partners in North America, 300 of which are gold and 730 of which are silver. The company hopes to garner about 60 enterprise-designated partners in that geography, Hulsy said.
Site Editor Nicole D'amour contributed to this report.