Building a Growing MSP Business Based on a Trusted Relationship with WatchGuard
NETbuilder was established in 1999 and has built up a highly successful solutions and services business in the UK, spanning financial, government, and commercial markets. Its key areas of expertise cover digital, Cloud, and cybersecurity, and from the start, NETbuilder made the strategic decision to identify and work with a small number of core, trusted partners.
When finding the right forward-thinking security vendor, NETbuilder chose WatchGuard. The relationship initially started when NETbuilder was working on a large infrastructure project that required an enterprise firewall to provide a high level of security, availability, and low latency.
“We started working with WatchGuard over seven years ago because they provided the best fit and value for money, but since then, the story has just got better and better,” says Chris Bates, sales manager at NETbuilder. “With the focus on growing our managed services business over the next five to ten years, the move by WatchGuard to bring everything together under a single platform that can be delivered through the Cloud is transformational for our MSP business.”
NETbuilder was quick to recognise the benefits of the MSP approach and is well positioned to meet the challenges of migrating its existing and new customers to the managed service model. “The MSP market is growing rapidly, so partnering with the right security vendor is key for us,” says Bates.
For NETbuilder, a critical factor in selecting WatchGuard as its strategic security partner was its range of market-leading technologies under a single platform. “WatchGuard provides us with the four pillars: network security, endpoint, multi-factor authentication, and secure Wi-Fi,” says Bates. “Rather than dealing with multiple vendors, we have one point of contact.”
But for its growing MSP business, the ability to support its customers remotely through a single pane of glass is a game changer. “Our ability to look after end-to-end security from anywhere without costly and time-consuming site visits – from configuring firewalls to managing endpoints – is a compelling proposition,” says Bates. “Additionally, as many of our customers are SMEs who struggle to fill the skills gap, they have access to our highly trained and skilled technical teams, backed up by WatchGuard experts.” WatchGuard Cloud also enables NETbuilder customers to see their investments in real time across all four security pillars.
For NETbuilder, picking the right partner is not just about the technology; it’s also about the support. “Unlike many vendors, WatchGuard is a company that makes it easy to do business with and also provides the support and backup at every stage,” adds Bates. And for Bates, a lot of this comes down to the local UK team that combines technical knowledge and commercial awareness and are “genuinely nice people to work with.”
Bates also highlights WatchGuard’s commitment to training as a key USP and points to access to online training as a key benefit to growing the company’s SOC (Security Operations Centre) and technical engineering teams. He is also enthusiastic about the marketing support.
“The marketing support and content from WatchGuard is fantastic,” comments Bates, who particularly likes the Marketing Campaigns in a box. “A lot of thought has gone into these themed campaigns. The messaging is clear and simple with everything from banners and email signatures to social media content that is easy to co-brand and customise.”
Both for NETbuilder and WatchGuard, the success of the partnerships is clear. NETbuilder continues to grow its MSP business and sees WatchGuard as pivotal to continued expansion. And with a growing WatchGuard portfolio, Bates and his sales team can “land and expand” to cross-sell other products and services. Bates also points to the value of having direct relationships with WatchGuard personnel throughout the organisation, from the channel account manager, marketing, sales engineering, and named account management teams.
Today, NETbuilder is a WatchGuard Gold Partner and won the UK 2021 Project of the Year at a recent partner conference, which further demonstrates the collaborative working relationship.
“When you choose a strategic vendor, you need the whole package, and that’s what WatchGuard offers: technology, support, backup, and the ability to do business,” sums up Bates. “We’ve found that WatchGuard personnel has always gone above and beyond in supporting NETbuilder as a partner over the years, and we look forward to a successful future together.”