Fortinet unifies channel approach

Network security player Fortinet has unified its global channel programmes and introduced certification changes as it looks to support its next growth phase

The growth in its enterprise business has led Fortinet to refresh a partner programme that had been devised to support its activities when the vendor was more of an SME specialist.

In the past year the firm has seen its enterprise business increase significantly and has not only taken the decision to increase channel skills to meet that need but will also use the opportunity to globally unify its partner programme.

From the start of next month the network security plaer will be rolling out its FortiPartner programme, which will see increased training and certification options, as well as a re-naming of the tiers from gold to platinum, silver to gold and bronze to silver.

Anne Bourgeois, director of international channel at Fortinet, said that it wanted to strengthen the relationship with its channel: "Fortinet is changing and we made a huge penetration into the enterprise market, coming from the SMB space".

As well as aligning the programme globally there is also a new certification element which should reward those resellers that are prepared to put the effort into becoming a 'network security expert'.

The training will over lap but spome of the eight stages of the certification process are new and top tier partners have been given until the end of December to make the transition to the changed format.

"We will work with our existing partners to help them develop a element of differentation," said David Park, Fortinet’s UK channel director, who added that it would be working with its distribution partners to get the message out to resellers.

The vendor has been investing in its own internal headcount to make sure that it can deliver the sort of services the channel will be expecting as part of the latest programme, particularly leads.

Bourgeois said that in the past the firm had been technically focused but going forward it would be putting more emphasis on marketing to make sure it could help stir growth it could share with channel partners.

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