Channel Awards: Q&A with SonicWall's Tristan Bateup

Tristan Bateup, director of channel sales UK & Ireland at SonicWall talks to CRN about why the Channel Awards matter

Kelsey Rees
clock • 3 min read
Channel Awards: Q&A with SonicWall's Tristan Bateup

Why do you think awards like the Channel Awards matter?

These awards matter as they recognise and validate the hard work that vendors put into developing and maintaining strong channel programs and relationships. They also support the channel community in evaluating new and existing vendors they want to build and continue relationships with, in a dynamic and crowded marketplace.

What would winning this award mean to your company?

Winning Security Vendor of the Year/Vendor of the Year would prove that our approach to becoming more outside-in and the efforts made have paid off for our partners as we always try to align ourselves to ensure they feel supported. This award from CRN would be proof of the progress we've made in further enhancing our channel strategy and support our standing as a leading cybersecurity vendor in the UK market.

What would you say is your company's proudest achievement over the past year?

Our proudest achievement over the past year has been how we've listened to the partner community, and used our learnings to further enhance our offering to partners. This has strengthened our already great, existing channel relationships by driving existing partner growth and attracting new partners to SonicWall. With initiatives like our 3 and Free promotion we have supported partners in driving revenue and through Cyber on Tap and our partner roundtables, we've been able to facilitate peer knowledge sharing while strengthening these relationships across the overall channel. 

What have been the biggest challenges of 2023 so far and how have you overcome them? How have your people helped with that?

The biggest challenge is one that all have felt, working to support partners as margin pressures increase in a crowded marketplace. We've worked to overcome them by introducing flexible consumption models, and promotions to help partners win more deals and grow their footprint within existing customers, all while maintaining margins and growing revenue. SonicWall's broad product portfolio, high security efficacy and overall low TCO allows our partners to provide their customers with industry leading protection matched to their specific needs and budget. 

How do you think the channel has changed over the past year and what changes do you think it still needs to make?

The channel seems to change every year, but 2023 in particular has seen a further push for consolidation, as partners pursue M&As for scale and increased breadth of capabilities. With consolidation, comes challenges in areas such as technology integration, training and enablement, so we will see changes in how partners address these areas. We plan to support them by helping them make the move, through training, program updates and financial incentives which are all reflected in our revamped partner program launching next year. We will also see changes in how new and emerging technologies, such as AI, are embraced and leveraged to enhance channel growth. 

What do you see as the main opportunities for the channel in the coming year? How do you plan to capitalise on those opportunities?

In a crowded vendor marketplace, the channel will have a real opportunity select the vendors they want to work with based on those that truly support their growth objectives and those who value and action their input and feedback. At SonicWall, we prioritise listening through our ‘outside in' approach and believe in listening more and talking less. Through regular partner roundtables, training and enablement initiatives and an enhanced partner program coupled with our broad product portfolio, high security efficacy and overall low TCO, we intend to make it even easier for partners to build successful cybersecurity practices with SonicWall. 

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