Fortinet’s Accelerate 2022 Global Partner conference that concluded recently was the first hybrid in-person and virtual event organised for partners. At the conference Fortinet’s vision and enthusiasm for the future was very clear. In the past two years Fortinet not only experienced unprecedented growth but was also able to demonstrate the value of its founding vision. VAR India spoke with Vishak Raman, Vice President of Sales, India, SAARC and Southeast Asia at Fortinet on the new updates and business opportunities around their Engage Partner program.
Networking and Security Should Converge. What Does This Mean for Partners?
Organizations and their employees increasingly require instant access to network resources, regardless of whether they are working remotely or in an office setting. As a result, traditional network perimeters are expanding and will continue to do so with the influx of new technologies and established remote work options.
But while cloud adoption continues to play a critical role in enhancing network access, many organizations still rely on a data center in some capacity. With this in mind, it has become clear that there is no longer a one-size-fits-all approach to building and implementing consumption models. Regardless of whether organizations are working out of the cloud or a combination of the cloud and the data center, legacy systems as a whole are no longer able to keep up with changing network demands and configurations, meaning security must be adapted.
The answer to these evolving security requirements is a convergence of security and networking strategies - also known as Security-driven Networking. By integrating network elements into a security architecture, organizations can expand their IT capabilities without compromising security. And as the convergence of security and networking grows as a consideration across organizations, partners can leverage this as an opportunity to grow their business by consolidating and securing customers networks with a single platform.
How is Fortinet helping partners to expand their business through the Engage Partner Program?
While digital acceleration is transforming how organizations do business, allowing them to remain competitive in today’s market, it also impacts their ability to manage and secure their networks. Solution sprawl, an explosion of new edges and devices, and a work-from-anywhere workforce coupled with the growing cybersecurity skills gap have stretched IT teams to the breaking point. Increasingly, organizations are turning to partners to take over some or all of their IT infrastructure.
Unfortunately, many partners are facing the same challenges. Many want to evolve their service offerings or cloud capabilities to keep up with the changing digital landscape. This has impacted their ability to address the new opportunities provided by this evolving market. However, those who are able to diversify their business model can successfully differentiate themselves from their competitors and grow their business.
The Fortinet Engage Partner Program is designed to help partners grow their business with a profitable and highly differentiated security practice. We do this in three ways. First, Fortinet’s unique security solutions, built around the Fortinet Security Fabric—the industry’s first and truly converged security platform ensure profitability through technology differentiation. Next, Fortinet’s commitment to innovation, boasting more patents than most competitors combined, and ongoing industry and customer accolades mean that your business immediately enjoys proven credibility. And finally, our sustained sales, marketing, and executive support enable long-term sustainable growth through productive, predictable, and profitable relationships.
What new updates have you made to the Engage Partner Program in 2022?
Fortinet at the recent Accelerate 2022 Global partner conference announced important updates to evolve the Engage Partner Program. These new updates are designed to create even more growth opportunities for all types of partners.
New Preferred Services Partner
Accreditation: For those partners with a mature and established professional services practice, the Engage Preferred Services Partner (EPSP) program provides direct vendor support and additional accreditation to increase service sales and delivery excellence.
Qualified EPSPs receive access to specialized training and direct assistance from Fortinet experts to build new skills and expand their confidence in providing advanced end-to-end security support for their customers including those with rapidly evolving and expanding network infrastructures. They can also collaborate directly with Fortinet Professional Support experts on implementations to leverage Fortinet best-practice methodologies, resulting in increased expertise and visibility while developing a more robust service portfolio.
New Growth Paths for Partners: We have created more entry points to make it easier for partners interested in joining the Engage Partner Program and adopting the MSSP business model. Our Select partners, for example, are no longer required to have a SOC in place. Going forward, for those Select-level partners who have completed the MSSP Business Model’s NSE certification requirements, Fortinet will now provide a free FortiCloud premium license so these partners can more efficiently deliver essential managed services.
New Productivity Kits to Expand Cloud Service Offerings: Fortinet is now offering two cloud productivity kits for Engage partners, a Cloud Starter Kit and a Cloud Enterprise Kit. Organizations can acquire and implement the technology they need to create an online environment to demonstrate how together with Fortinet they can secure data, applications, and users in the cloud.
The Starter Kit includes a pre-selected SKU pack of FortiGate, FortiManager, FortiAnalyzer, FortiCASB, FortiWeb, and FortiMail solutions. And the Enterprise Kit consists of a pre-selected SKU pack of FortiGate, FortiManager, FortiAnalyzer, FortiCASB, FortiWeb, FortiMail, and FortiSandbox.
What are the key Fortinet differentiators that gives partners an edge in a competitive Security market?
Fortinet's dramatic growth is a direct result of our forecasting, and then acting on, the growing need for security performance, consolidated security functions, and the convergence of security with the network. Fortinet is enjoying the benefits of being uniquely positioned to address current market opportunities by being the only vendor to provide these unique capabilities.
The industry's fastest hardware: Rapid network expansion is outpacing the ability of IT teams to maintain their traditional point solution security approach. To keep pace with digital transformation, security devices need to operate nearly a hundred times faster than the networking solutions they need to monitor and protect. While networking devices are all about connectivity, security solutions need to perform higher-level functions and provide deep inspection of traffic to protect the organization.
Fortinet's custom security, networking, and SoC processors enable us to provide an average of five to 10 times the performance of similarly priced solutions. And in some critical areas, such as inspecting encrypted traffic, that difference can be as much as 40 times faster.
And as anyone can see, as organizations invest in digital acceleration, the demand for performance will only increase. And without the innovation required to deliver the performance and integration today's networks require, security vendors will continue to lag further and further behind.
The Fortinet Security Fabric: Because today's networks are highly distributed, it is also imperative that security can be deployed consistently and run natively in any environment. FortiOS is also designed to be deployed anywhere—hardware, software, endpoints, clouds, containers, and even highly specialized OT environments. This enables organizations to deliver the same security regardless of where their network, applications, resources, and users are deployed, from offices to manufacturing floors to smart cars to harsh OT environments.
FortiOS powers the Fortinet Security Fabric to ensure that every deployment operates as part of an expansive, integrated platform. Fortinet solutions deployed natively in one cloud environment, for example, can use specialized Fabric Connectors to dynamically translate policies and configurations so applications and workflows that span hybrid networks, including multi-cloud environments, can provide consistent visibility and enforcement end to end. Similarly, Fortinet's cloud-based solutions not only provide essential security secure access service edge (SASE) functions for remote and mobile users but also seamlessly tie them to the physical network, addressing a critical gap in most SASE offerings today.
The Fortinet Security Fabric also enables organizations to leverage their existing security and networking investments through its extensive use of common standards and open APIs. Over 500 integrations from across the industry, spanning security, management, networking, and even specialized OT solutions, interoperate seamlessly with the Security Fabric.
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