Industry Trends

A Cybersecurity Conversation with a Fortinet Authorized Training Center: Compendium

By Rob Rashotte | May 11, 2021

Skills Gap Perspectives 

Fortinet has a network of accredited training organizations in 83 countries and territories around the world. This network makes up the Authorized Training Centers (ATC) program, part of Fortinet’s NSE Training Institute to further push forward Fortinet’s Training Advancement Agenda (TAA). In addition to Fortinet trainers, ATCs are the exclusive trainers for NSE 4 courses as well as delivering courses for NSE 5-7. Courses are delivered in both classroom and online formats and offer the same top-quality training you would receive from Fortinet directly. Compendium Training Center is a Fortinet Premier Authorized Training Center (ATC) accredited to deliver Fortinet NSE 4 through NSE 7 training. 

We recently connected with Bartosz Niepsuj, Vice President of Compendium Training Center to gather his thoughts on life as a Fortinet ATC and their training business in Eastern and Central Europe benefitting from Fortinet’s industry-leading NSE program. Compendium Education Center was established in 2000 to address the growing market need in Central and Eastern Europe for up-to-date, quality training courses for advanced telecommunication and information technologies. Compendium EC prides itself in providing quality instructors and valuable training materials to help transform technical theory into practical business value that helps promote innovation in the face of rapid technological change.

When and why did Compendium Education Center become a Fortinet Authorized Training Center (ATC)? 

Compendium EC joined the Fortinet Authorized Training Center program 16 years ago in September 2005. Initially, the company was focused on services in Poland, but it has since expanded, in parallel with its head company Veracomp Exclusive Networks Poland SA, to all of Central and Eastern Europe.

As an independent, pure education company our mission is focused on the education needs of companies and individuals to support our client’s growth plans. Since our inception, we have worked to continuously improve the skills of our customer’s employees, giving our corporate clients an advantage over their competition. 

It was critical from the outset that we choose the best technology vendors that offered innovative products and technologies. Solidifying a mutually beneficial relationship with Fortinet and adding them to the Compendium portfolio helped us develop the market and meet the growing cybersecurity education needs of our customers. It was already apparent in 2005 that Fortinet was well positioned to be the leader and visionary in cybersecurity. We chose Fortinet because we wanted our students to learn from the best!

How many students have you trained with Fortinet?

Compendium has trained approximately 3,000 Fortinet students since 2005.

How have your students benefited from NSE training?

Firstly, NSE training provides our students with the knowledge and experience necessary for professional IT and cybersecurity positions and responsibilities. Whether someone is a security administrator, engineer or consultant, they all require full knowledge of the products they manage or implement in production, not only in theory but also in practice. The NSE trainings always provide up-to-date knowledge on specific Fortinet solutions combined with the opportunity to practice new skills in a safe environment (training laboratories). 

Secondly, the NSE program is not only about training courses but perhaps more importantly it is about the corresponding exams and certifications. Certification holders are able to clearly demonstrate their value to current or potential employers. All the NSE Certification levels, all the way up to NSE 8, are very realistic reflections of the levels of career knowledge and personal growth as a Fortinet expert.

Which Fortinet NSE courses are in the most demand? 

The most in-demand courses are NSE 4 – FortiGate Security and FortiGate Infrastructure, followed by all NSE 5 level courses and NSE 7 - FortiGate Enterprise Firewall.

What makes your training and the experience you provide to learners unique?

I think what makes us unique is that we always put the individual goals of our learners first. We work to ensure we are transferring the appropriate knowledge and improving their skills. This means that we not only look at the training needs of the individual but also the company where they work. We enhance a company’s digital competitiveness by equipping employees with the latest and most relevant IT skills. 

We work closely with vendors of innovative products and technologies and always strive to transform technical theory into practical business value, realizing stable progress that promotes innovation under fast and moving technical conditions. 

How important is it to provide localized training services? 

Regardless of the form of training, classroom or distance learning, participants and the trainer spend a lot of time together. Often, people will spend five consecutive days of eight hours each day learning and sharing experiences. It’s important to have ease and freedom of conversation, and this is very much reliant on the ability of the instructor to speak the native language. 

There are also cultural differences that a trainer must be cognizant of, which may impact organizational elements of their training courses. The way a course is configured may depend upon local conditions such as regulations, laws or the cultural habits of course registrants. A training company and its trainers can only tailor the best training for students if they are knowledgeable of local customs and cultures.

What makes you successful as a Fortinet Authorized Training Center (ATC)?

When I reflect on our experiences over the years, I think of three key contributing factors to our success. The quality of Fortinet education programs and training materials, which are constantly at a very high-quality level, helps us deliver the best training to our students. 

Our experienced trainers, who are not only teachers but also long-term practitioners, have deep industry knowledge on security and network projects. 

And finally, our skill and readiness to switch our organization, over the last year, to a digital organization, clearly demonstrated our responsiveness. We were quick to react and we moved not only our business processes to the digital world, but also all our training services.

What are the benefits of the Fortinet Authorized Training Center (ATC) program? What’s the future? 

The greatest benefit of a long-term partnership with Fortinet is watching our students grow, and constantly improve. Providing up-to-date educational programs matched to current challenges that help our learners evolve in their careers is a huge benefit of the Fortinet Authorized Training Center (ATC) program. Our first NSE 4 certified students have developed their careers with us - becoming managers, architects or owning their own businesses. That is rewarding!

It is remarkable to think that over the 16 years of Compendium as a Fortinet ATC, we have witnessed an historical evolution of network and security product development. Cybersecurity threats and the methods of protection have changed but so too has the Fortinet educational program. It has evolved to keep pace with the market – not only with updated product and technology knowledge to handle all subjects of cybersecurity but it has also adapted to different methods of learning.

Never was this more apparent than in 2020. The education market was slowly going through a period of digital transformation, but the global pandemic drastically accelerated this change. We now know that vILT training sessions are not only a present necessity but they will remain a part of our future. Online learning is here to stay and we see an increased demand for digitization of educational products and customization of education for a new type of student learning: learning on their own, learning by different ways and learning in varied time periods. Blended learning is the future. We look forward to working with Fortinet as they continue to evolve and expand their training offering for ATCs.

Learn more about Fortinet’s free cybersecurity training, an initiative of Fortinet’s Training Advancement Agenda (TAA), or about the Fortinet Network Security Expert program, Security Academy program, and Veterans program.