WatchGuard Technologies has a renewed focus on India’s network security market. The manufacturer of network appliances is optimistic of the growth opportunities across SMEs through RoundRobin Tech (RRT) Services in India.
Mumbai based RRT is the master distributor for WatchGuard in India since early 2015.
“We have had a great relationship with RoundRobin Tech as our master distributor for India and we don’t see that changing any time soon. They are authorized for our full product portfolio of Firebox appliances, secure Wireless Access Points, licensing, sku’d services, as well as new products on the roadmap,” said Randy Johnson, Director, Worldwide Distribution, WatchGuard in an extensive interaction with ChannelWorld India.
“WatchGuard is a value product and our channel partners invest in resources and technical certification. Our Channel is thus fully equipped to sell and support the product ensuring they have better ROI unlike the transactional model.”
Neelam Mirchandani, CEO, RoundRobin Tech
RoundRobin Tech Services does a superb job of representing WatchGuard channel in India, added Randy responsible for distribution sales, operations, and strategy for WatchGuard’s distribution channel across the globe. “We continue to partner with them to support our current channel as well as recruiting new partners. The India market is poised for tremendous growth and together with RRT we are well positioned to support that growth,” he said.
WatchGuard changed its India GTM in 2015 by firing its team, changing disties etcetera. Has the storm settled as many channels then drifted to competition like SonicWALL, Cyberoam?
“That’s a fair question and yes, we did make some changes in certain markets like India, to do what was best for the company at the time. We tried to cause as little disruption to the market as possible, and I think we did a very good job in that respect.”
WatchGuard’s changed strategy affected newly appointed master distributor RoundRobin Tech Services too. “The challenges were more related to the immediate change of strategy and fortunately all of them were addressed in the first two quarters. The partners soon realized that the new strategy was for betterment and was only a change of GTM Strategy,” says Neelam Mirchandani, CEO, RoundRobin Tech Services. They had nothing to do with the process change e.g. RMA Process of WatchGuard India then and now continues to be excellent, says she.
The bigger challenges faced by partners and us were handling and managing the negativity created by the competition'claiming' that WatchGuard had exited the Indian market, says Neelam. “This was absolutely not true. WatchGuard continued to invest more rationally in India market, channeled through us and has expanded its employee base globally by investing more in product development and innovation globally,” she informs.
WatchGuard & RRT: Key channel policies for India
· Regular Partner Trainings, Deal Registration and Price Protection
· Stock availability with RR TECH to support partners for faster deliveries
· Regular events held jointly with Partners for benefit of their customers
· Enable partners in Tier II Cities to broad base in SMB/ SOHO Segment
· Increase internal resources to serve the growing demand in India
Signing RRT was a key component in being able to successfully make these changes as per Randy. However, change is the only constant in business as we have seen SonicWALL spinning off from Dell, Cyberoam acquired by Sophos, and many other changes. “We have seen our Indian channel settle down as we are already in planning phase for 2018,” he says.
Changing the previously instituted mentality of SIs from illogical stocking model to sales out model took some time as per Neelam. Our loyal channel partners continued supporting us at the transition time which helped us sail through the transition smoothly, she says.
WatchGuard’s target customers are SMBs and distributed enterprise in India and globally. “Our product set is uniquely positioned to offer the enterprise-grade features these clients are looking for in a solution that is easily deployable and cost effective. Our top priority is to maintain our base, both partners and end users. And we are looking to continue to increase sales in the region and improve our branding and recognition,” says Randy.
WatchGuard recently released solutions that include a few pioneering services like APT Blocker and this year released TDR (Threat Detection Response) that correlates Threat Data on end points. None of the competition has such offering. They have also introduced Cloud managed Wi-Fi AP’s (which can use WG UTM’s as their controllers or the cloud as their controller) with integrated WIPS and great customer analytics for retail and hospitality.
WatchGuard products address the changing needs of the security markets but keeps the user interface simpler, easy to use and deploy as the complexity is hidden behind the service.
RoundRobin Tech unlike the traditional distributors hand-holds the channels in driving Sales E2E which includes pre-sales support and trainings to enable partners. “This is true Value Added Distribution and we do not see any other VAD in India providing this level of service. Our manufacturers trust us completely as their extension in the Indian market. We also provide customer centric pre- & post-sales support as and when needed by our channels,” Neelam says.
RRT is 100% channel-oriented organization since inception. This has helped them win the trust of an ever increasing number of resellers – specific to WatchGuard Ecosystem. “WatchGuard is a value product and our channel partners investing in resources and technical certification are fully equipped to sell and support the product to have great ROI,” says Neelam.
RRT’s clear and simple channel policies includes regular partner trainings, deal registration & price protection; stock availability with RR Tech to support partners for faster deliveries, and regular joint events with partners for the benefit of their customers.
There are existing loyal partners in Tier 1 Cities. RRT has been enabling partners across Tier II cities to broad-base in SMBs backed by success stories across banking, government and manufacturing verticals. The long term channel strategy includes expanding partner base to have more visibility. However, this is done ensuring that partners’ ecosystem is still maintained and every partner gets a decent SOW on the product, she says.
RRT is increasing the number of internal resources to service the growing demand for WatchGuard’s solutions. Our channels trust us and are confident that they are fully protected in an opportunity which they have worked on.
“RoundRobin Tech as sole master distributor for India for two and half years has been a fantastic move. We continue the hyper growth to increase market share in India as SMB market is fairly under-penetrated in terms of UTMs and network security, says Randy.
“WatchGuard channel in India is a cleaner channel, run professionally and logically as of date. WatchGuard India business has been growing more than 40% annually since we took over as master distributor,” informs Neelam.