Tough times lift Watchguard

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Tough times lift Watchguard

Resellers jump ship for ease of use, support and performance.

Some of the worst-performing economies in Europe have yielded the best results for security vendor WatchGuard, according to the company.

Sales in France, Italy and Germany have been particularly strong.

"When people start sharpening their pencils, people see us as a price-performance leader," said Terry Haas, vice president of international sales for WatchGuard.

Australia, New Zealand, Japan and South-East Asia are also doing well. WatchGuard's highest market share (in Singapore) is 20 per cent.

WatchGuard claimed about 7 per cent of the Australian market, double what it was two years ago. Sales rose 20 percent in the past year and most of that was in the past nine months, said regional director for Australia and New Zealand Scott Robertson.

The main driver for sales was price-performance. "We do 80 per cent of what enterprise vendors do for an SMB price," said Haas.

Additionally, the security vendor has picked up resellers from other vendors who were tired of poor support, said Robertson.

WatchGuard used a toll-free number in Australia to its 24-hour call centre in the US city of Seattle. Resellers liked the support for speed and competency, said Robertson.

Ease of use was another factor driving defections to WatchGuard, said Robertson. Its products use a web-based interface rather than a command line interface, reducing the need for an engineer with scripting skills to manage the device.

One Australian customer swapped out a Cisco firewall because the call-out fee for an engineer each year was more expensive than the cost of replacing it, said Robertson.

Improvements in bandwidth throughput of its UTMs had increased the possibility of sales to larger companies. Haas said, competitors Cisco and Juniper were more worried about each other than SMB vendors.

"We're in the ankle-biter category," he said.

Enterprise vendors were targeting mid-size businesses as enterprises shuttered spending. "We've seen a lot of bundling," Robertson said. Enterprise vendors were also throttling capabilities on their enterprise products to make them more affordable to SMBs.


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