WatchGuard is launching a flexible billing model for its managed services provider (MSP) partners in a move it claims will thrust it ahead of its network security rivals.
Partners using the vendor's current MSP programme have had to buy its subscription services for a fixed one, two, or three-year period, in the same way as its commercial customers.
Currently, the boxes must also be registered to the end user, meaning they cannot be easily redeployed if the customer cancels the contract.
The vendor has spent the past year developing a new billing system for the launch of the next iteration of its MSP programme, which will go live to UK partners in the first week of August. This will allow MSPs to turn services on or off at their convenience.
Talking to ChannelWeb, Bill Smith, vice president of sales at WatchGuard, admitted that its traditional MSP billing model had not been conducive to MSPs.
"They requested this because this is the way they do business," he said. "We are not forcing them to use this but it is an additional level of flexibility we can provide them."
UK sales manager Jamie Pearce said WatchGuard would initially target its 12 top-level Expert partners in the UK, many of whom have until now woven WatchGuard into their own managed services offerings.
"We are looking to sign up a significant number of MSPs, as it is a much more attractive model," he said.
Of WatchGuard's major rivals, which include Cisco, Check Point, Fortinet and SonicWall, only the latter has a similar billing programme, claimed Smith.
"SonicWall's is a little more restrictive in that it [the service] is either on or off. With ours, you can turn on and off different services and you have more granular control. It is not unheard of in the [IT] industry but among our competitors it is not that common."
The MSP programme refresh will also be supported by new enablement tools, including business plans, use cases and technical material.
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