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Helping existing customers is key for Forcepoint channel

Recently appointed EMEA vice-president of sales shares his view of how Forcepoint channel will get through the coronavirus and grow in the future

It has been just shy of three months since Paul Garvey took up an EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) position at security player Forcepoint, but he already has some clear ideas of how the channel can help to drive the business forward.

Garvey took up the role of vice-president of EMEA sales at Forcepoint after leaving IBM, where he was vice-president cyber security APAC, which also involved working with Big Blue’s business partners and strategic alliances.

The mantra at Forcepoint is to make the company customer-centric and to encourage its partners to keep users satisfied, as Garvey described it: “To make sure that every experience customers have is a positive one.”

He added: “We need to know the state of health our customers are in and ensure they have deployed the technology properly and have no issues.”

Garvey has also joined a business that has had a busy 12 months in the channel, having relaunched its partner programme a year ago, following that with an accredited service partner programme, a fresh portal, an MSP scheme, and it cut the ribbon on a platinum level for top partners.

Ben Richardson, head of channel EMEA at Forcepoint, has been spearheading those efforts and Garvey is looking to continue the momentum.

“The number one point is all around the existing customer base,” he said. “By consuming more of our portfolio, we can help them reduce the risks in the current environment and the digital landscape.”

Garvey said Forcepoint was looking for partners it could stand side-by-side with as it deals with those customer needs, and for those that get it right, it will present the channel with a significant opportunity.

For Garvey, the coronavirus pandemic has further underlined that the time is right to prove that the central focus of the company – to be customer-centric – is delivered because that is the best way to ensure the channel’s prosperity.

“Partners are recognising that existing customers are the way they will work through this, making sure they are delighted,” he said. “It is about existing customers and getting through this with our partners and making sure that every one of our customers is able to operate through this period.”

Richardson said Forcepoint was prepared to support and invest in partners and had increased its focus on distribution and was making sure it had a dual relationship strategy in place in each country across EMEA.

He said it was currently working hard to make sure resellers got through the coronavirus trading challenges, and conversations with partners were increasing to help them maintain business.

“There will probably be a bit of a lag and there will be a slight delay to the big infrastructure projects,” he added. “For a lot of partners, it’s business as usual and more are looking at new ways of doing business. The pipeline is building well. We are keen to support our partners and invest in them.

“With partners, we really want to put our arms around them and bring them through.”

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