The channel is key for WatchGuard, and the company will be increasing its investments to aid the channel in supporting business security, according to its A/NZ regional director, David Higgins. But instead of increasing the number of disties and partnerships, Higgins said it will be focusing on strategic alliances.
“Having more and more distributors dilute our focus. So in Australia, we have a specialist distributor in security in Exclusive Networks and a broad-based distie in Dicker Data. And we deal exclusively through partners – we are 100 per cent channel focused,” he said.
Higgins claimed the channel is the company’s lifeline in spreading information about security, especially within the SME space.
“Technologies that have been built to attack big enterprise companies are just as applicable to small businesses. And businesses think a little bit of investment is good enough – it’s not.
“SMEs don’t have the right resources internally but the purpose is not to frighten them but make them aware of the vulnerabilities. They need to know that their minimum investment in security is not enough,” he said.
“Most customers don’t have staff to train them, so we also do that through MSPs as well. We want them to be the experts.”
As such, WatchGuard most recently brought to market its new WatchGuard One partner program, which is totally based on certification. Through this program, it aims to further spread the need for security in SMBs.
“We intend to use this to continue training our partners, giving them free hands-on training courses and certifying them through a third party organisation because we want that certification to have some value and standards right across the board.”
Under its partner program, partners have the flexibility to sell its solutions as an on-site box or as a virtual machine.
“There’s more than one way to skin a cat but as businesses move towards a consumption model rather than an on-site model, it’s handy to have both,” Higgins claimed.
According to him, the rise of the Internet of Things in the coming months will further stress the importance of security for SMBs.
“The Internet of Things is going to be ubiquitous and is going to be in everything. The information that gets collected and analysed will need protecting; it’s not so much the devices themselves anymore.
“We’re going to constantly talk about visibility and using the channel to take our upcoming products, loading them up into a datacentre and selling that as-a-service locally. We’re also going to focus on BIG Data analytics so that businesses can distil the information and make decisions on what to do and where to take their business further in terms of security,” he added.