Watchguard realigned its Secure Partner Program this year with an aim to
provide greater service and better opportunity for growth to its channel. Mark
Romano outlines how his team is closely working with the professional and expert
partners to strengthen their business, increase the attach rate of security
subscriptions, and grow as they grow
How important is India from a global market perspective?
WatchGuard views India as a key market for its unified threat management (UTM)
appliances and services. We closely work with our distributors and resellers to
ensure the utmost traction in the marketplace.
The key regions we will focus on this year will be Bangalore and Chennai in
South, Mumbai in West, and Delhi (to cover North and East). Due to time
restrictions, we had initially set our sights on just the two cities, ie New
Delhi and Bangalore, but were able to add Mumbai also.
How do you plan to empower your channel network in India?
WatchGuard has a strong channel network and we are closely working with our
professional and expert partners to strengthen their business, increase the
attach rate of security subscriptions, and grow as they grow.
From WatchGuard’s corporate office in Seattle Washington, to our country
managers globally, we put day-to-day decision-making, concerning sales and
marketing in the hands of our local representatives.
The channel has access to our sales teams and turnkey marketing materials to
build their outbound marketing campaigns. We will assist to help with their
What new elements have you added to your partner program?
In 2008, we have realigned our WatchGuard Secure Partner Program providing
greater service to channel and better opportunity for growth. Some of the key
changes include enhanced technical support, access to leads, online sales
training, and personalized marketing assistance for expert partners.
What new activities can the channel expect from you?
There will be several areas of emphasis this year, like increased PR
activity, brand-awareness campaigns, loyalty programs, assistance with local
end-user events, and lead generation activities.
Besides this, Watchguard has recently unveiled new security appliances for
the organizations to give their mobile workers highly secured connectivity at
their work place. The new appliances, the WatchGuard SSL 1000 and WatchGuard SSL
500, offer a remote access features optimized for today’s universe of mobile
devices and network authentication options.
How are your products different from those available in the market?
There are three key areas that truly set WatchGuard apart. The first is
scalability. Our products are completely scalable within each product family. As
a company grows or shrinks, the Firebox X product line can be scaled by simply
changing a feature key. This is an easy process and does not require the
hardware to be removed from the rack or discarded.
We also offer enhanced security. Most manufacturers of firewalls or UTM
appliances chose to use only one method of securing against viruses, the use of
signatures. Each time a virus is publicly detected, a signature must be applied
to protect against it, and then loaded to the firewall before that protection
goes into effect.
WatchGuard chooses to use two methods of protection-proxies and signatures.
Proxies are employed to stop viruses before they are publicly known. This
ensures that you are protected from the second a virus hits a WatchGuard UTM
firewall. We then employ the signature when it is made available. This is like
having a good lock on your door (signatures) and a great deadbolt for extra
security (the proxy).
We also offer reporting
in both graphical and log form. With the firmware upgrade of Fireware 10 was
released earlier this year, WatchGuard took another great leap forward in
reporting capabilities, plus, what we give for free,
our competitors charge extra for it.
Who are the core clientele that you are planning to target? Will you
target B and C-class cities as well?
There are key verticals that we will focus on and have had great success in
the past. These verticals are finance, education, government, manufacturing and
We will remain a focused company, and are in fact finding great success in
enterprise-class sales as well as in medium-sized businesses. I would say that
2008 could see a doubling in size for WatchGuard with the addition of new
What are WatchGuard’s future plans?
We will continue to focus on India as a key market, increasing sales and
marketshare. Our revenues for India are expected to grow by 100 percent. We hope
to have several end-user events, sharing the stage with particiÂpating
There will be very large strategic partnerships, which will be of national
level and the kinds which have not been seen in the industry. WatchGuard is a
firm believer in contributing to the ecosystem of network security and will
shortly tie-up with some leading IT training players to create hands-on
awareness within the IT community about the benefits of UTM.