Long-Standing MSP Has Reliable and Rewarding Partnership with WatchGuard
One of New Zealand’s most long-standing managed services providers, IT360 was founded in 1994 by husband and wife team, Vic and Ruth Wilson. Originally starting as a small consultancy business, IT360 has grown and prospered and today employs a team of 22 technical, sales and administration staff. Their son, Dave Wilson, took the reins as general manager in 2015.
IT360 has a firm foothold in New Zealand’s small and medium business market. It provides IT, telecommunications, Cloud and cyber security solutions and services to around 40 customers in the healthcare, retail, manufacturing and professional service industries. Typically, their customers rely on IT360 to perform the tasks of an in-house IT department. Many clients have been with the business since its inception, including the beloved New Zealand cereal brand, Casey Products.
IT360 began selling WatchGuard firewalls in 2014. The reseller became WatchGuard’s first Gold Partner in New Zealand, leading to the rapid adoption of WatchGuard across its client base.
“We’re a managed security provider (MSP) that takes care of both day-to-day IT management and strategic planning for our customers,” explains Callum Galloway, IT360 operations manager. “We needed to work with a vendor that could provide those customers with a robust and reliable security backbone and, for a number of reasons, we found the WatchGuard offering attractive.”
WatchGuard is IT360’s primary security brand. Ninety percent of IT360 sites have WatchGuard’s signature firewall product installed.“That’s quite a high penetration rate for the SME market and it reflects the fact that cyber-security awareness is increasing,” Callum remarks.
WatchGuard’s secure Wi-Fi product is also expected to find favor with customers over the next 12 months.
“Our clients are receptive to solutions and services that safeguard their data and protect them from phishing and malware attacks,” Callum comments. “We like the fact that WatchGuard continues to update and refine its products to meet the evolving security needs of the SME market.”
IT360’s five-year relationship with WatchGuard has been a highly rewarding one.
“As a vendor, they do a really good job in so many different areas,” Callum says. “The fact they’re a bit smaller than some of their competitors seems to have kept them nimble and innovative. They put innovation front and center. Their product is fantastic and the fact that they keep winning awards all over the place gives us additional reassurance – that independent organizations are identifying that their offering outperforms the competitor.”
The technical and marketing support WatchGuard gives to smaller partners like IT360 is also a cut above that offered by other IT vendors, Callum believes.
He singles out WatchGuard’s online training program for special mention: “It’s significantly better than those offered by other vendors and is an excellent means of empowering our staff. MSPs like IT360 are under pressure to complete a large number of vendor certification programs each year and we appreciate the fact that WatchGuard keeps it easy and affordable.”
WatchGuard’s annual APAC partner conference represents an opportunity to stay abreast of security trends. So, too, do the regular communications, briefings and in-person training sessions from WatchGuard’s New Zealand and Australian offices.
The marketing collateral provided by WatchGuard is invaluable for resellers whose own sales and marketing budgets are modest.
“They pump out a phenomenal amount of really well-designed marketing content –infographics, banners, email signatures, you name it,” Callum adds. “There’s also an automation engine we can access to help us run social media marketing campaigns. WatchGuard does a great job of providing a security ‘voice’ for smaller MSPs that have a limited capacity to do it for themselves.”
Support has also been forthcoming for a range of other marketing initiatives. In 2018, IT360 commissioned a series of testimonial videos featuring long-standing customers such as the upmarket grocery purveyor Farro. “We talked to our WatchGuard account manager about the project and they were very happy to put some money towards it,” Callum explains.
Callum concludes, “They’re not prescriptive about what co-marketing funds should be spent on. They’ve supported us with a range of initiatives – the videos, pay-per-click advertising campaigns, security-focused events. There’s a terrific focus on working together to develop our security business and celebrating the successes and that’s one of the reasons we’ve found working with WatchGuard so rewarding.”