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WatchGuard content security goes virtual

01 Apr 12

WatchGuard has added content security to its virtualisation platform, along with virtualised firewalls. Scott Robertson talks to Heather Wright about the move the company hopes will see it push into higher end enterprises.

WatchGuard Technologies is hoping the release of its new virtualisation offerings, which take its line of web content, data loss prevention and messaging security appliances virtual, and the addition of virtualised firewalls, will give it ‘the ammunition to drive into the [enterprise] space’.

The company is hoping the new offerings – combined with demand from larger systems integrators keen to pick up more medium sized business customers – will bolster its reputation in the larger enterprise, while also maintaining its grip on its original stronghold, the small and medium business market.

Four editions of XCSv will be available to meet the needs of small, midsize and large-scale distributed environments. The virtual versions provide the same level of web content, data loss prevention, email and messaging security offered by WatchGuard XCS hardware appliances, including advanced anti-spam and malware protection, zero-hour threat outbreak response and easy to use management and reporting features, the company says.

The company also announced the XTMv series of virtual firewalls.

Scott Robertson, WatchGuard Technologies vice president, channels and alliances, says the products ‘are essentially a software version’ of existing WatchGuard appliances.

He says the new offerings, due to be released in New Zealand over the next few months, are ‘an enabler’ to help customers both large and small move into virtualisation with confidence.

“In the last two years we’ve seen a proliferation of virtualisaion and not just for corporate enterprises in the data centre, but also service providers are now seeing virtualisation technology moving into the SMB market.

“Businesses want to drive down infrastructure costs and virtualisation enables that in so many ways. But there have been issues for not moving to virtualisation including concerns about the privacy of data and security.”

SI to SMB

He says larger integrators are growing into the SMB market. “They need to grow their business and the enterprise space is already heavily contested, so they’re seeing the benefits of moving into the SMB area.

“Integrators need to grow their business and are looking for new options. Meanwhile technology vendors like WatchGuard are growing higher end customers, so there’s a meeting point in the middle. We’d definitely like to form partnerships with some of the larger systems integrators in New Zealand.”

Robertson says that is likely to include ‘solidifying’ some existing relationships WatchGuard has in New Zealand.

But it’s not just the larger SIs who Robertson believes stand to benefit from the product launches.

“Resellers need to be proactive in an effort to differentiate themselves from the rest of the market. Let’s be honest, it’s a tough industry. If they can present offerings to prospective customers which enable them to be agile and keep going, it’s a great way to differentiate themselves and show thought leadership,” he says.

“Security is just a part of the solution. It’s an enabler to move into virtualisation with confidence. And from a resellers point of view they can sell solutions that help drive down costs and bring more flexibility.

“But it is just part of the solution – and there’s a lot of up selling potential.”

Of the enterprise push, Robertson says: “We’re the underdog in this area, so we’ve got everything to win and nothing to lose.”

He says the company had a ‘fantastic’ finish to last year, with New Zealand revenue up 80% year on year.

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