Firewall vendor cuts out all channel drama

Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Untangle, Inc. sells network software and security appliances for about a decade with a different proposition for the channel: A no-fuss, self-serve approach to doing business.

Company CEO Bob Walters told CDN that Untangle’s business model is to eliminate the guess work for customers and the channel.

“The channel logs in, sees the discount right away. There is no guesswork and no drama. We are a low drama company. There is already too much drama in the channel and our model is not to create drama,”

Untangle does not openly recruit channel partners and does not have any employees who are channel account managers. Despite this the company, which just launched a new product called Untangle Internet Content Control, has more than 300 channel partners in Canada.

Walters added that the company sports more than 500 paying customers in Canada, and about 5,000 more customers using a free version with basic capabilities.

The company also offers competitive margin discounts starting at 20 per cent. Its channel model is built on a SaaS where the company pays the solution provider each year so long as the customer keeps up its subscription.

Untangle’s go to market strategy is a direct to channel and avoiding distributors.

“We Web automate everything. We have a uniform channel model. Any VAR in the world can buy from our online store and have their discount applied directly off the MSRP. We largely skip distribution. Unlike other companies all our transactions are self-service. We have no tiers and no concentration issues. Our sales process is based on stats. It’s like a B2C process in a B2B setting,” Walters said.

He added that Untangle has inside sales reps, but they only help channel partners when they get contacted. There are no outbound calls from Untangle inside sales reps.

Since Untangle is a relatively new company in the market it put in a freemium sales model.

Untangle’s firewall product is based on an open source platform and has full function net-gateway and unified threat management. Most of Untangle’s customers are in K12 Education and in small business with employees of 100 and below.

“We can manage bandwidth, block things that should not be on the network and maintain compliance. The basic features are for free and is similar to Linksys or Fortinet, while the premium upgrades moves you to state of the art and is equal to a Palo Alto Networks offering,” Walters said.

Untangle’s new Internet Content Control product is optimized for 1,000 users and can scale up to 10G-bits per second and with that is able to handle thousands of users, Walters said.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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Paolo Del Nibletto
Paolo Del Nibletto
Former editor of Computer Dealer News, covering Canada's IT channel community.

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