Security vendor SonicWall and distributor Ingram Micro have celebrated their twenty-fifth year of doing business together They also announced that they have made record revenues together through the third quarter of 2018. Business was particularly brisk among Ingram Micro’s SMB solution provider base. SMB sales between the pair were up over 50 per cent in 2017. That resulted in Ingram Microl naming SonicWall their U.S. SMB Partner of the year at the Ingram Micro Experience 2018 event.
“We do business with all the big distributors, and many of the smaller ones, but the Ingram Micro relationship is something special,” said Steve Pataky, SonicWall’s SVP and Chief Revenue Officer. “We have now been together for 25 years. This is longer than most marriages last.”
While Ingram Micro is the largest of the distributors in North America, and so could logically be expected to deliver more revenues than any of the others for SonicWall, Pataky said that the relationship goes much deeper than that.
“It’s more than just scale, or even Ingram Micro’s huge footprint of loyal resellers,” he stated. “It’s the depth of the business relationship with them, and the business development and strategic thinking that comes with it. When we were preparing for independence, being spun back out of Dell last year, it was Ingram Micro that we sat down with to discuss our plans. Similarly, Ingram Micro was the first distributor that we went to back when we were getting ready to launch our Security-as-a-Service initiative. Ingram has since been helpful assisting us to operationalize that, allowing our mutual partners to have an OPEX model as well as CAPEX. We can’t do that without Ingram. As we push into deeper into the MSP space, we will rely on their depth of expertise.”
That Security-as-a-Service initiative was a major success between the two companies in 2017. SonicWall said that it brought in a new flood of unique transacting partners in the first half of 2017.
“Our cloud business is still relatively small, but is an extremely fast-growing piece of the business,” Pataky said. “We’ve been very active in transitioning to the cloud, because that is where the industry is going. We have to have strong cloud distribution. Going forward, you will see more and more of our portfolio focusing on the cloud, and be delivered through cloud distribution.”
Does this mean that SonicWall will ultimately evolve into a cloud company?
“We are evolving, but it will be driven by what the customer, if they want on-prem or cloud,” Pataky said. “We will have one single code base, and one set of features for both regardless.”
Eric Kohl, Ingram Micro’s Vice President, Security Business Unit, Advanced Solutions, also stressed that the relationship between SonicWall and Ingram Micro went beyond the usual vendor-distributor relationship.
“I have been actively involved in this relationship with SonicWall since 2003, back when Matt Medeiros was the CEO,” Kohl said. “We fostered a very good relationship with Matt, and that has continued to a long-term relationship personally and professionally with SonicWall. SonicWall, like Ingram Micro, stretches from the SMB to the midmarket and the enterprise.”
The Ingram Micro relationship has helped SonicWall, which sells exclusively through channel partners, continue building out its large channel. They now muster over 20,000 partners, up around 2,000 from last fall.
“We are adding between 1100 and 1200 transacting partners every quarter,” Pataky said. “Distribution is so critical in this, in opening up new incremental routes to market for us.”