Security vendor SonicWall has appointed a new EMEA boss as it continues to revitalise its channel after being sold by Dell.
The firm completed its divorce from Dell in November last year, when the firm's software segment was sold to Francisco Partners and Elliott Management, and split into two companies - Quest and SonicWall.
The firm has since claimed to have returned to profitability under its new colours, with CEO Bill Conner telling CRN that SonicWall had to "make radical changes" after a tough time under its previous owner.
SonicWall has appointed Michael Berg as EMEA senior director of channel sales. He has previously worked at distributors Tech Data and Asbis, as well as secure mobile communications vendor Silent Circle.
Entering the new role at the company in April, Berg said that SonicWall is in partner-recruitment mode for Europe, and will look to fill geographical gaps in the Nordics, DACH, and southern Europe.
"We are coming out of the Dell times in which the company had been stepping back a little bit from a growth perspective. We now want to grow much more and we see the opportunity increase with all of these attacks happening, the cyber threats that are definitely driving the market," said Berg.
He added: "The Nordics is definitely on the list, and then the central DACH region is on the list, then the southern regions as well."
Berg said he could not put a number on how many partners he is looking to recruit, but said that he aims to boost SonicWall's European headcount in tandem with expanding its partner base.
"We are looking at first our salesforce, where we have gaps, and the few areas we have identified gaps. We are going to fill them to support new partners coming on board. In those countries we will see additional headcount which we are addressing at the moment," he said.
SonicWall released its first partner programme as an independent company in February this year. Florian Malecki, international product marketing director at SonicWall, said that the firm has endeavoured to retain some benefits inherited under Dell ownership, but has looked to add additional perks.
"We had been part of Dell for four years. One good thing they did for us is we were able to reach partners in networking and storage who saw a good opportunity in SonicWall, partners who did not necessarily have a security background," he said.
"What was beneficial was we kept Dell's two-tier model and one thing we did [on our own] was we lowered revenue thresholds for Gold and Silver partners compared with the Dell programme. The average sales value for Dell was much higher so we lowered the threshold value."
In addition, Malecki said the firm has introduced a five per cent discount for partners if they are able to push certain SonicWall product lines. If partners are able to sell SonicWall's Capture product, a multi-engine sandbox solution, or its NSA 6600 solution together with its firewall, they can earn the discount. Furthermore, if partners deploy SonicWall's traffic-reporting tool Swarm behind a customer's existing legacy firewall, and are then able to convince the customer to opt for SonicWall's firewall instead, they are also eligible for a discount.
Berg said that the feedback from partners following the firm's split from Dell has been positive.
"We have been talking with partners who have been with us for a long time - 10, 15 or even 20 years. The feedback I have received has been exceptional, they are saying that now we are independent we will be leading the game and have a good opportunity together to grow the business and find more opportunities."
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