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SonicWall CEO Bill Conner: We Can Make Cybersecurity Acquisitions

Steve Pataky
SonicWall CRO Steve Pataky
SonicWall CEO Bill Conner

SonicWall, backed by serious partner momentum, is in position to build, partner or acquire its way into additional cybersecurity markets, CEO Bill Conner tells ChannelE2E.

In a wide-ranging interview on Friday (Sept. 15), Conner and Chief Revenue Officer Steve Pataky described how SonicWall's business has generated three consecutive quarters of double-digit top-line and bottom-line growth. All of that growth comes from SonicWall's rebuilt partner program.

What a difference a year makes. Dell sold SonicWall to investors Francisco Partners and Elliott Management. At the time, Conner said the deal would accelerate SonicWall business decisions, R&D and partner engagements.

Still, private equity ownership can be a mixed bag. Some PE firms buy underperforming technology companies and immediately slash costs to improve cash flow. Others PE firms simply don't understand the commitment, cost -- and value -- associated with building partner programs.

SonicWall: Partnerships, Alliances... And Acquisitions?

In stark contrast, SonicWall's new owners appear to be channel and strategic alliance addicts. And for good reason: More than 18,000 partners have registered for SonicWall's new SecureFirst partner program, with 5,000 partners new to the ecosystem, the company says.

SonicWall’s Ed Cohen

The efforts don't end there. Ed Cohen, executive director, strategy and business development, has been scouring the security market for potential strategic alliances.

One recent deal involves integrating SonicWall's Next-Generation Firewall (NGFW) with SentinelOne's Endpoint Protection Platform (EPP). Together, the companies will provide a joint solution to help organizations automate data breach detection, prevention and remediation.

I get the sense that SonicWall isn't done inking strategic alliances -- and perhaps even acquisitions. "We will obviously continue to innovate," Conner says. "We can build. We can partner. And yes, we can buy. If we need to buy will will buy."

With statements like that, it sounds like SonicWall's owners are impressed with the business so far -- and ready to approve the right tuck-in acquisitions if Conner finds the right target...

Joe Panettieri

Joe Panettieri is co-founder & editorial director of MSSP Alert and ChannelE2E, the two leading news & analysis sites for managed service providers in the cybersecurity market.