Coun­try Man­ager For­tinet In­dia & Saarc


What were the high­lights of For­tinet’s per­for­mance in 2013?

The year 2013 has been a great year for For­tinet. Glob­ally our billing grew 14 per­cent YOY to $684.2 mil­lion, and rev­enue went up 15 per­cent to $615.3 mil­lion. In In­dia, we reg­is­tered a 28 per­cent growth with sales billings of $14.7 mil­lion.

We will out­grow the IT mar­ket in 2014 as well. We see tremen­dous op­por­tu­ni­ties around ad­vanced per­sis­tent threats, data cen­ters with 100 Gbps de­ploy­ments, and next gen­er­a­tion fire­wall (NGFW).

Our ac­qui­si­tion of Coy­ote Point has in­creased our ad­dress­able mar­ket as we can now pitch end-toend net­work se­cu­rity so­lu­tions.

What are the trends driv­ing the net­work se­cu­rity mar­ket to­day?

BYOD, shadow IT and the con­sumer­iza­tion of tech­nol­ogy will con­tinue to drive the de­mand for se­cu­rity so­lu­tions in 2014. Also, be­cause hack­ers, cy­ber-crim­i­nals and on­line threats are get­ting more per­ni­cious than ever, we see un­prece­dented op­por­tu­nity for growth.

In the dis­trib­uted en­ter­prise seg­ment, smaller branch lo­ca­tions are con­sol­i­dat­ing their in­ter­nal IT stack to re­duce costs, en­able se­cure wire­less and sim­plify man­age­ment. To­day, new net­work se­cu­rity ap­pli­ances man­age a branch’s perime­ter net­work se­cu­rity and also se­cure its IP phones, POS de­vices, sur­veil­lance cam­eras and more.

In­fo­net­ics, which re­cently sur­veyed or­ga­ni­za­tions with over 1,000 em­ploy­ees and high­end fire­walls de­ploy­ments found that the move to faster net­work tech­nolo­gies is forc­ing en­ter­prises to up­grade their IT in­fra­struc­ture.

One the top 10 in­vest­ment pri­or­i­ties for their CIOs is adding new high speed in­ter­faces to fire­walls. IT de­part­ments are striv­ing to or­ches­trate poli­cies to in­clude high-per­for­mance fire­walls, NGFW, VPN, in­tru­sion preven­tion, ap­pli­ca­tion con­trol, ATP, Web fil­ter­ing, ex­plicit proxy and UTM.

“We have opened our pro­fes­sional ser­vices pro­gram to sev­eral Gold and Sil­ver tier-2 part­ners. Ear­lier the op­por­tu­ni­ties were avail­able only to se­lect tier-1 part­ners”

Con­text-aware se­cu­rity and in­tel­li­gent se­cu­rity so­lu­tions which give ad­min­is­tra­tors deeper in­sight into his­toric or real-time net­work ac­tiv­i­ties are also in de­mand.

Vir­tu­al­ized se­cu­rity so­lu­tions are in de­mand es­pe­cially be­cause or­ga­ni­za­tions are ex­pand­ing their data cen­ters for man­aged ser­vices and cloud com­put­ing.

How are you pre­par­ing part­ners for these op­por­tu­ni­ties?

For our 200 au­tho­rized part­ners— who con­sist of en­ter­prise and SMB part­ners— our fo­cus this year is to mo­ti­vate them to achieve spe­cial­iza­tions and cer­ti­fi­ca­tions for new tech­nolo­gies and prod­ucts. For this we have cre­ated a spe­cial in­cen­tive pro­gram un­der which we of­fer 10 per­cent flat in­cen­tive to our cer­ti­fied part­ners on ev­ery project they ex­e­cute.

We want to help these part­ners spe­cial­ize in one or more For­tinet so­lu­tions, that is, wire­less, Web ap­pli­ca­tions and email se­cu­rity. For this we have cal­en­darized our quar­terly tech­ni­cal and sales meet­ings in Ben­galuru, Delhi, Mum­bai, Chen­nai, Hy­der­abad, Kolkata, Ahmed­abad and Pune.

We have opened up our pro­fes­sional ser­vices pro­gram—which was ear­lier avail­able only to se­lect tier-1 part­ners—to sev­eral Gold and Sil­ver tier-2 part­ners to en­sure high prof­itabil­ity and strong cus­tomer con­nect. By us­ing our se­cu­rity op­er­a­tions cen­ter, these part­ners, af­ter due cer­ti­fi­ca­tion, will of­fer ad­vanced pro­fes­sional ser­vices such as in­te­gra­tion, en­ter­prise mi­gra­tion, IPv6 mi­gra­tion and net­work­ing au­dits. We are look­ing at cer­ti­fy­ing 30 au­tho­rized part­ners for pro­fes­sional ser­vices, and we will share leads with them ac­cord­ing to their com­pe­tency and cer­ti­fi­ca­tions.

For that we have launched ex­ten­sive train­ing for the sys­tems en­gi­neers of part­ners, and have signed up Data Ci­pher as our train­ing part­ner.

What are your other growth plans?

Apart from build­ing depth among our leading part­ners, we are fo­cused on ex­pand­ing our base of reg­is­tered part­ners in ge­ogra­phies where we don’t have a strong pres­ence. As a start, we have re­cruited 2-3 part­ners each in J&K, Chandigarh, HP and Puducherry.

We have also in­tro­duced a new part­ner tier called Bronze Plus for many of our reg­is­tered part­ners who

are do­ing well. Un­der this new pro­gram, our aim is to in­crease our en­gage­ment with these part­ners and help them grow their busi­ness. We are pro­vid­ing them leads, and en­gag­ing with them on a quar­terly ba­sis for train­ing, op­por­tu­nity map­ping and sales plan­ning.

We are of­fer­ing in­te­gra­tion and de­ploy­ment ser­vices for many reg­is­tered re­sellers in tier-2 cities who do not have tech­ni­cal ex­per­tise in ad­vanced tech­nolo­gies. Once these part­ners lock the op­por­tu­nity, our tech­ni­cal team steps in to help with de­ploy­ment and in­te­gra­tion ser­vices. For this we will also lever­age our net­work of pro­fes­sional ser­vices part­ners.

What are the other ini­tia­tives you have taken to im­prove your chan­nel GTM?

One ini­tia­tive that will help both part­ners and cus­tomers is the new RMA pro­gram whereby our dis­trib­u­tors—In­gram and Redington—will pro­vide RMA ser­vices from their branches. This will en­sure faster turn­around for re­place­ment and re­pairs; in many cities it will be next busi­ness day. We have also set up a lo­cal toll-free num­ber to fa­cil­i­tate post-sales ser­vice.

The other im­por­tant ini­tia­tive is launch­ing an on­line re­newal as­set track­ing tool which re­minds part­ners of the re­newal time­lines of their cus­tomers. We ex­pect this to in­crease the re­newal rates of ser­vices con­tracts and thus in­crease the an­nual ser­vices rev­enue of part­ners.

“I want to clar­ify that the au­to­mated deal reg­is­tra­tion tool is ac­tive on the part­ner por­tal and can be ac­cessed by all part­ners. We are now mak­ing ef­forts to pop­u­lar­ize it”

We have also launched a mo­bile app which al­lows part­ners to ac­cess prod­uct in­for­ma­tion and threat re­search up­dates on their smart­phones. In ad­di­tion, it en­ables part­ners to size up the cus­tomer’s de­mand and bun­dle prod­ucts as per their re­quire­ments.

For­tinet has been re­ceiv­ing a lot of flak for the la­cu­nae in its deal reg­is­tra­tion sys­tem.

I agree that part­ners have raised some con­cerns re­gard­ing deal reg­is­tra­tion and the re­sult­ing con­flicts with their busi­ness de­vel­op­ment man­agers.

Al­though the au­to­mated deal reg­is­tra­tion tool was launched about three years ago not many part­ners are aware of it.

I want to clar­ify that the tool is very much ac­tive on the part­ner por­tal and can be ac­cessed by all part­ners. We are now mak­ing ef­forts to pop­u­lar­ize it and are en­cour­ag­ing part­ners to uti­lize it op­ti­mally. We will also be launch­ing at­trac­tive pro­mo­tions to en­cour­age part­ners to reg­is­ter deals.

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