Networking and security veteran Bill Conner said his top priority is to restore ‘pace of innovation’ following four years as the security arm of the tech giant formerly known as Dell.
Bill Conner was named CEO of the newly independent SonicWall, following its spin-off from the tech giant formerly known as Dell.
SonicWall today officially became a standalone company again, amid a rollout of slick new branding and updated programs.
But it was a significant personnel development that dominated headlines.
Bill Conner, a Dallas-area technology executive and 30-year veteran in networking and security, was named SonicWall’s new CEO, following its spin-off from the tech giant formerly known as Dell.
No one openly said nimbleness was lacking during SonicWall’s four-year existence as part of Dell Software Group.
But Conner – the handpicked choice of the new owners, private equity firm Francisco Partners and hedge fund Elliot Management – said his first priority is to restore a sense of creative dynamism to the security software vendor.
“Literally, it’s been to return the pace and frequency of the innovation in our core products,” he said of his mandate. “To build back the channel momentum and scale that we know this company can have and has had.”
Quest Software and One Identity, also components of the Dell Software Group sale, have been rolled into a single company called Quest Software.
The top of SonicWall's to-do list also includes doubling down on its cloud initiative, SonicWall Cloud GMS (global management system), a cybersecurity software solution with more than 100,000 firewalls under management.
“We are now hosting it to allow partners to focus on doing the business,” SonicWall vice president of worldwide security sales Steve Pataky told MSPmentor in August at Dell Peak 16 in Las Vegas.
“We take care of all the back-end infrastructure,” he said, adding that partners with infrastructure are free to host their own solutions. “Smaller operations will be able to get up and going with hosted GMS in a cost-efficient basis without having to put out a lot of capital costs.”
Pataky said the company had successfully executed on its commitment to set up a standalone partner program by the time the deal went final. Today also marks the start of the migration period, which will continue through the end of 2017.
“We’re watching the numbers today,” Pataky said. “Hundreds and hundreds of partners are already migrating.”
Management said to expect new capabilities around mobile in the coming months, as well as innovation around Internet of Things (IoT).
“You look at IoT, it’s clearly a new attack vector,” Conner said.
The new SonicWall plans to compete in the enterprise space.
“We’ll use our skill sets and our own grid networks and capabilities,” Conner said.
The new CEO said he feels fortunate to sit at the helm of such a major cybersecurity player, at such an exciting time.
“I truly knew the asset and the leadership team,” Conner said.
“I’m fortunate enough to be selected by Francisco and Elliot,” he added. “My focus will now be to take it to the next level…and returning some of the innovation and speed (to) SonicWall.”
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