As announced on Tuesday, Dell has signed a definitive agreement to acquire SonicWALL, Inc., a leader in advanced network security and data protection. The company has a strong channel program with 15,000 resellers providing extensive global coverage that I look forward to working with.

We have worked hard through previous acquisitions (EqualLogic, Compellent and Force10) to preserve their channel programs and enhance our value-add through certification for all partners. Our goal is the same now -- to take the very best of the SonicWALL’s award-winning Medallion Channel Program and combine it with our existing PartnerDirect program to bring the best to all our channel partners.

We intend to make SonicWALL products available to customers via Dell and through existing SonicWALL and Dell strategic channel partner relationships. A benefit to SonicWALL’s channel members is that they will now have access to all Dell products, which we expect will open up new opportunities. And, Dell’s existing PartnerDirect channel partners will have access to sell SonicWALL products. This will enable all partners to grow their business in new directions.

I certainly understand that anxiety can come whenever there is change, but we are very excited about the opportunities this acquisition brings partners. While myself and my team have been reaching out personally to many SonicWALL partners since the announcement, I’d like to ask those I have not spoken with to take a look at our track record with previous acquisitions that had strong channel programs and give us an opportunity to combine the best of the programs for an even stronger PartnerDirect program.  Partners who have ANY concerns I would encourage to reach out to me personally at Gregory_Davis@dell.com

Dell PartnerDirect is available in 148 countries with more than 100,000 partners worldwide. Over the past four years we have worked hard to alleviate member concerns and earn their trust. We have done this by creating and leveraging a firm deal registration process, which protects members who are creating and driving demand. We have neutralized sales compensation so that our direct account teams receive full credit for working with the channel, which we believe helps drive the right behavior. And finally, we operate with rules of engagement that have established great working relationships with our channel members. We will continue to do these things as we integrate the SonicWALL products into Dell.

This acquisition does remain subject to customary closing conditions. We are currently working through the specifics required to integrate SonicWALL into the PartnerDirect program, but I will share further details of the program enhancements as they become available.