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SonicWall now has more than 25,000 partners in its SecureFirst partner program, adding more than 1,000 new partners since being acquired by private equity firm Francisco Partners and hedge fund Elliott Management in November 2016.
Talking to Channelnomics about the launch of the SecureFirst program, SonicWall CEO Bill Connor said: “I don’t know of any company that, in 20 months, went from zero to that many partners.”
Connor also revealed that the company has updated the program so its partner tiers are no longer solely based on revenue, but on accreditations and certifications from the SonicWall University, part of the SecureFirst Partner program.
“Our higher metal partners obviously do more volume, but we’re looking for them to be more expert and more accredited across our entire portfolio of solutions.”
The firm claims SonicWall University is responsible for a 715 percent year-over-year increase in completed partner exams.
Cyber arms race
Connor said that mid-tier organizations “are caught in cross hairs of the cyber arms race, as they don’t often have the people, resources or capital to protect themselves”.
The chief exec said SonicWall has been taking data from its global threat sensor network for the past 18 months, identifying the top new threats and delivering the information to SonicWall University.
This, he said, enables partners to “go get an education on the type of threats that are happening, the volume and how to put our technology and their solutions in place to prevent those threats”.
According to the newly released 2018 SonicWall Cyber Threat Report, the firm reported a 102 percent increase in malware attacks globally, and a 229 percent rise in ransomware attacks in the first half of 2018.
“We’re here to serve the channel, make them the first defenders for the mid and small businesses around the world,” Connor told Channelnomics.

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