Dell's global channel boss has "reached out" to SonicWall's resellers after acknowledging some may be anxious about the firm's takeover.
SonicWall's 15,000 resellers are known for their loyalty. However, some have questioned whether the network security vendor's impending acquisition by Dell could spook their HP-centric customers, or leave them sidelined.
In a blog post aimed at the firewall vendor's resellers, Greg Davis invited anyone harbouring concerns over its acquisition by Dell to email him directly.
"I certainly understand that anxiety can come whenever there is change, but we are very excited about the opportunities this acquisition brings partners," he wrote.
Vincent Booth, director of SonicWall partner Solved IT, said his biggest concern relates to how Dell is perceived by some of his customers.
"There has been a Dell versus HP culture when looking at servers," said Booth. "The customers who are firmly in the HP camp see this acquisition as a concern. I have asked them why, but they don't have an answer. I think it may be about brand loyalty so if Dell confirms it is not changing the SonicWall model, it could be okay."
Booth also expressed concerns that Dell's 100,000 partners could come barrelling into an edge security market that demands substantial experience and knowledge.
"I do think it can be a good thing, but perhaps not if it is integrated into the current Dell culture," he said. "It certainly made us look at the existing Dell product set because there may be benefits for our customers. At the end of the day, it is them that we care about."
Davis said Dell's goal is to take the best of SonicWall's Medallion partner programme and combine it with Dell's own PartnerDirect scheme, while also giving the two sets of partners access to the other vendor's portfolio.
He urged SonicWall partners to look at Dell's track record with previous acquisitions that have had strong channel programmes. Its recent integration of Compellent, for instance, drew praise from both sets of partners.
In a letter to partners, Marvin Blough, vice president of worldwide sales and marketing at SonicWall, echoed this by emphasising that both firms are committed to preserving the current go-to-market strategy.
He added: "During the closing process, it is important that we all maintain a business-as-usual mentality and focus on closing deals in the current quarter. You have our commitment that we will continue to communicate how the acquisition will affect the way you work with SonicWall."
Adam Maurice, managing director of Dell partner The Internet Group, said he is surprised Dell has bought a security technology firm, given its recent acquisition of security consultancy SecureWorks.
"I thought that SecureWorks would be vendor-agnostic, and this will lead them to a particular technology," he said.
"We don't have many clients that use SonicWall and I can't see that changing. We believe Cisco is the market leader and we want to continue with them."
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