WatchGuard ties up with Citrix

WatchGuard has built remote access capabilities into its SSL VPN appliance with Citrix's Access Gateway software.

SINGAPORE--Network security company WatchGuard has inked an agreement with Citrix to build remote access capabilities into its VPN appliance.

Under the agreement, Citrix and WatchGuard will also work together to coordinate marketing and sales activities, and develop additional SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) VPN (virtual private network) products for SMB (small and midsized businesses) customers, according to a company statement.

Jeff Hurmuses, managing director of WatchGuard Asia-Pacific, declined to reveal how much the deal is worth, but said that "it is the first step of our (Citrix) relationship, and the beginning of a few other things that are going to happen".

"It looks like it's a marriage made in heaven, but until you go down the road, you'll never really know how it'll turn out. But we are very optimistic," Hurmuses said.

The partnership will allow WatchGuard to put Citrix's name on the Firebox SSL Core VPN Gateway appliance. The hardware, together with Citrix's Access Gateway software, lets businesses provide secure connections to their corporate networks.

Targeted at SMBs, the tie-up will allow both companies to penetrate this largely untapped market segment for SSL VPN, Hurmuses said.

Jay Tan, an industry analyst at research firm Frost & Sullivan, said that the collaboration benefits both companies.

"WatchGuard can leverage Citrix's strength in secure access technology, while Citrix will be able to tap into WatchGuard's strong reach in the SMB market," he told ZDNet Asia.

"The major adopters of SSL VPN technology in Asia Pacific, so far, are from the large businesses segment. Thus, it would be interesting to see how the two vendors can collaborate to target the largely untapped SMB market for SSL VPN."

On whether similar agreements would be inked with other market players for end-point security at the desktop level, Hurmuses said: "We are evaluating that (possibility) everyday."

He declined to comment on other potential business tie-ups, but would only say that "WatchGuard is looking for leaders in their fields and ways to partner with them".

As a sign of things to come, however, he said that there may be more WatchGuard products catered to Asian markets.

For instance, in Korea, a particular security application that is widely used could be embedded into a WatchGuard appliance, if this allows the company to sell more boxes in Korea, he explained.