India, a key high growth market for SonicWall

Debasish Mukherjee, VP, Regional Sales APAC at SonicWall
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In an interaction with Express Computer, Debasish Mukherjee, Country Head, SonicWall, speaks about SonicWall’s repositioning strategy as a security leader in the country

What are the strategies adopted by SonicWall in security space in India?
Since the start of the year, there were three key priorities for SonicWall globally; first, marketing and branding; second, re-organisation and third, innovation. We have launched programmes in marketing and branding, including SonicWall’s Fear Less campaign, featuring a selection of strong creatures armed to provide protection across a number of advanced threats (for branding) – a play on our ability to enable businesses to be securely protected so they have time to focus on their core priorities and be literally “Fear Less”. The market has responded very well to this branding and messaging, and also are more aware of all different products available.

Further, we have launched our SecureFirst partner programme last year to re-stimulate interest from our existing partners globally and to also recruit new partners. This programme was launched across India in the middle of 2017. Globally, currently, more than 27,000 partners are registered with SonicWall. In India, more than 600 partners have registered, of which 200 are new ones.

In the previous eight quarters, SonicWall has launched more than 40 new products. and has created tiered programme architecture on global standards but customised it to address Indian partners.

There are a lot of training features introduced by SonicWall University programme. The broader programme is “Secure First”, under which three activities are covered by SonicWall – 1) Overdrive: It’s a marketing and demand generation tool for partners to promote and advertise; 2) SonicWall University, which is used to educate both our employees and partners; 3) SonicWall Partner Portal, for partners to access the latest information on the programme, promotions and deal registration.

From a customer acquisition perspective, SonicWall has started working closely with the government sector, managed security service providers (MSSP) among others.

SonicWall was also planning to expand product engineering in Bengaluru. What is the progress on that front?
India expansion is the part of our global expansion strategy. SonicWall has seen good engagement from APJ and Indian markets. There were many unique requirements coming from organisations from India. Post that we have decided to build its Indian talent pool and start R&D operations here. This way, SonicWall addresses the Indian market and as well as it (Indian R&D operations) helps to grow the business.

India and Japan are the key growth markets for SonicWall. The Indian market has been growing at a very good rate. So, globally, it was decided to focus on key growing markets in India and Japan. Now, SonicWall has started investing in technology, R&D centre, so that we can support, maintain or address both the global and India markets.

How are these creating opportunities in India related to cyber security?
Where ever there is data, there is a need to provide security. Thanks to Government of India initiatives to digitise a growing number of services, there are opportunities not only for SonicWall, but for all. Lot of things like smart cities or digitisation of projects is expanding the opportunity horizon.

How are you repositioning SonicWall as a security leader in the country?
SonicWall was always known for SME business or SME product. For the last 25 years, the company was positioned as a SME product. SonicWall is also doing lot of enterprise work, 50-55 per cent of our business vary from country-to-country, but from India 55 per cent business is coming from enterprise and 45 per cent from SMEs.

We have started a layered solution approach and is no more just a next-generation firewall company (NGFW). SonicWall has uncovered the real security pains of the customer – so SonicWall is primed to provide a 360-degree solution.

Last year, the company launched a unique sandboxing solution. Most security firms have a sandboxing solution but SonicWall is the only firm providing multi-layered sandboxing solution.

Recently, we have also launched a new product called ‘Real-Time Deep Memory Inspection’ (RTDMI). In the last six months, the technology has captured 27,000 unique threats, which the industry has not seen yet. This new technology is patented by SonicWall to capture unknown attacks.

As the competition is growing what is your strategy to expand security in India?
In India, SonicWall has seen good traction and is growing at a very high rate. Now, we are taking a very systematic approach rather than generic. SonicWall has started working with different verticals like working on government projects, actively participating in telcos and NSPs, educational and corporate deals.

How do you stand out in cyber space among the other players/vendors in the market?
Every competitor has its own strengths. SonicWall stands out for its technology. It has patented technology ‘Real-Time Deep Memory Inspection’ (RTDMI). More than 70 per cent of the traffic is encrypted, which will hardly observe http or https. SonicWall foresaw this technology 10 years ago and launched it. SonicWall has integrated solutions for its customers. Competitors might be good at only one specific product and not the entire portfolio. Having an end-to-end solution capability is SonicWall’s biggest strength in the market.

What are SonicWall’s future or upcoming announcements?
We are forging more opportunities in the larger enterprise space, gaining traction with the telco-grid firewall and within the next six months there will be more product launches. SonicWall is currently placed in the Gartner ‘Challengers’ quadrant. Now, the focus is to move back into the Gartner ‘Leaders’ quadrant. organisations looking for security solutions shouldn’t just go by market leadership. They should evaluate by total effectiveness. Effectiveness is the solution and their solution should be layered.

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