WatchGuard announce new MSP programme

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Security vendor WatchGuard Technologies has unveiled a new managed services programme and restructured its discounts for ISPs and telcos to ensure channel partners and distributors can equally benefit from the growing SMB market.

The firm has also welcomed 10 new BorderWare partners into its UK channel following the acquisition of the secure email messaging and web content company in August last year.


On the technology front WatchGuard has enhanced its new remote management security features integrated into WatchGuard’s Fireware XTM-based multifunction security appliances to allow partners to manage, monitor and mitigate security risks for thousands of customers regardless of their location.

For its partners, WatchGuard offers between four and eight percent rebate for its managed services programme on top of its standard via distribution pricing. The practice of giving ISPs and telco direct sales has been stopped.

As Vinod Chamdal, UK country manager explains: “Everybody is doing threat management now and as the amount of data rises, many customers need to have more powerful devices on premises to deal with the workload.”

Chamdal believes that WatchGuard points to it prior relationships with ISPs such as Pipex, Easynet and Star, which were pioneers in the managed services security space using WatchGuard hardware.

“We have always done managed service,” comments Chamdal, but in the last few years he thinks, “we may have lost some focus”. Chamdal believes that the channel is key but that ISPs are also a target for the firm, however the strategy to entice these larger providers is not in place yet. Although he suggests that the firm’s reputation with older and now often-acquired ISPs still gives them some avenues of approach.


The longevity of its flagship Firebox products, its strong reputation in the SMB space and depth of product enhanced by the BorderWare deal he believes gives WatchGuard a strong appeal to the channel and end users. The firm is currently actively recruiting with a number of seminars and events planned for 2010.

WatchGuard has about 600 resellers in the UK of which 65 are fully accredited. The growth of cloud-based security is evident, “Although many customers still prefer to have hardware on site,” explains Chamdal, “and the idea of a price per month for managed security is increasingly attractive to many cost conscious customers.”

However, Chamdal’s optimism is tempered by analyst firm IDC’s Western European Quarterly Security Appliance Tracker which states 3Q09 revenues for the Western European security appliance market reached $377.44m in factory revenue, a 16.2 percent decrease over the same quarter a year ago. Shipments also decreased by 16.7 percent over last year’s second quarter, with 127,717 units shipped.

Romain Fouchereau, research analyst at IDC states: “After a very strong year in 2008, the economic downturn has finally caught up with the European security appliance market. The third quarter of 2009 marked the second consecutive revenue decline for European security appliance vendors, as IT security investment projects were put on hold. However, IDC anticipates both security budgets and the security appliance market to quickly turn around in 2010 from a challenging 2009.”