Industry Trends

ATC Spotlight: A Cybersecurity Training Conversation with Exclusive Networks France

By Rob Rashotte | July 14, 2021

Through Fortinet’s Training Advancement Agenda (TAA) and NSE Training Institute’s ATC Program, Fortinet is helping close the cybersecurity skills gap. Fortinet’s network of accredited training organizations in 83 countries and territories around the world are delivering both classroom and online training with the same top-quality instruction offered directly by Fortinet. Exclusive Networks France is a Fortinet Premier Authorized Training Center (ATC) accredited to deliver Fortinet NSE 4, 5 and 7 training courses. 

Exclusive Networks, with 50+ offices across five continents and presence in over 100 countries, is a value-added distributor for cybersecurity and cloud solutions, as well as offering a host of market services from pre- and post-sales technical support to leasing, training, professional services and global project management. We recently connected with Jean-Marc Muselli, Services and Technical Director at Exclusive Networks France to discuss Exclusive Network’s training business in France and their long running relationship with Fortinet. 

When did Exclusive Networks France & Fortinet begin working together?

Exclusive Networks opened its offices in Paris in 2003 and we have been a Fortinet Authorized Training Center (ATC) since 2004. Cybersecurity products and the associated support and training services were in high demand in France. We essentially started our training programs at the same time as Fortinet and both companies have massively expanded global coverage across all five continents. 

What are the benefits of the Fortinet ATC program?

The Fortinet ATC program offers the opportunity for resellers to be innovative and proactive in meeting the needs of partners, end-customers and staff. ATCs can take the guidance and knowledge provided by Fortinet to ensure training centers are extremely competent on a whole range of services ranging from installation, administration to troubleshooting on all products in the portfolio. 

Fortinet provides guidelines and shares knowledge for ATC trainers. Here at Exclusive Networks France, we have been proactively investing in our employees, implementing the Fortinet guidance to ensure our trainers are continuously updating their skillsets and meeting the needs of our customers. 

Being an official ATC is an important designation and we’re happy to see Fortinet is investing in protecting and advancing the businesses of authorized training centers. 

How many students have you trained with Fortinet?

In France, we have certified 10,000 students since 2004 with Fortinet. 

How many hours of Fortinet training has your organization delivered? 

A lot! Almost 1.2 million hours. We are close to 1,500 lessons taught.

What are the most in-demand Fortinet courses?

We have seen the demand for courses evolve over the years. There was a boom on the NSE 4 then NSE 5, and then NSE 7 – which are all still in demand but now we are seeing a demand for more specialized products such as FortiClient EMS, FortiEDR, FortiNAC, and Fortinet SD-WAN.

What makes the education and experience you offer learners unique?

We have been fortunate to have known the technologies for a long time and to follow them on a daily basis in pre-sales by carrying out proof of concepts, events, webinars etc… but also in support environments such as professional services. In fact, our trainers draw on their experiences in the field, like support services and migrations, to tell great stories and case studies to students. It’s a huge strength – credibility through experience. In addition, our trainers are not only technical, they also benefit from educational courses and are certified “train the trainers” on each course.

How important is it for an ATC to provide services to a local market - language, cultures, etc.?

Although, the level of English that engineers have today is incomparable to pre- 2010. The feedback we receive from our partners and customers is that training in local language is much preferred and valued. In France, we are strongly connected to our language and culture and it is difficult for many clients or partners to take a one-day course in English, let along five days!

What are the expectations of Fortinet customers when they contact an Authorized Training Center to participate in a Fortinet NSE training?

Depending on the need, they want to understand, test, and enrich themselves with the technologies and solutions offered on the course as well as listening to the answers to the problems and environments they face on a daily basis.

Our investment in our instructors to keep them up-to-date and current, ensures that they have strong knowledge of the needs of our customers and can provide answers and solutions unique to the customer’s environment.

What makes you successful as a Fortinet ATC? 

We have benefited from a market in demand, advanced technologies, and proven confidence with a very active and mutually beneficial partnership with Fortinet.

Our approach of having security engineers with a lot of experience working on integration, delivering training and technology pre-sales is a winning concept.

We are always looking to evolve, improve and stay current. One example of that is the recent Fast Track Workshops that Fortinet launched. We were the first distributor to deliver these workshops. We’re always keen to innovate and bring new experiences and knowledge to our employees, partners and end customers. 

Find out more about how Fortinet’s Training Advancement Agenda (TAA) and NSE Training Institute programs, including the Certification ProgramSecurity Academy Program and Veterans Program, are helping to solve the cyber skills gap and prepare the cybersecurity workforce of tomorrow.