3 Foundational Pillars for Driving Business with our Partners

By Jon Bove | February 28, 2018

Providing security to businesses today is a far different proposition than it was just a few years ago. Looking back, security in the first decade of the 2000’s was a bolt-on proposition. Businesses would spec out the current demands from their users and customers then design an infrastructure that could handle relatively static requirements for the business to be both secure and productive.

Back then, this included internet service, various servers, networking and wireless appliances, standardized computers issued en masse, and then bolting on some firewalls and antivirus to keep everything safe. Larger enterprises would obviously require some additional advanced components and technologies, but the general concept remained the same, and most of these infrastructures were deployed on-premise and managed by internal IT staff. While not ideal from a security perspective, this bolt-on approach was adequate to ensure business productivity while balancing risk.

Fast-forward to today, and it’s a completely different, and far more complex landscape. The internet has become the primary way both customers and employees interact with the organization. This shift has driven rapid advancements in internet-based technologies as companies are increasingly competing using the tools implemented during their digital transformation projects. Starting with trends like BYOD and virtualization, and now best personified by multi-cloud environments and enterprise IoT, massive technology sprawl over a relatively brief period has increased IT complexity and the pressure on IT teams to keep everything working, let alone secure.

And hackers have taken notice of the expanded digital attack surface. Increased IT complexity and a shortage of cybersecurity skills have resulted in security gaps that have led to costly breaches, significant downtime, and the loss of consumer trust.

The combination of these factors is disrupting the security consumption model for businesses. They require far more than just security hardware. Businesses today are increasingly looking to consume security as a service offering, freeing them from the design and day-to-day management of the security solutions required to defend the complex web (pun intended) of distributed hardware, software, users, and data that compose today’s digital enterprise. 

Transformative Security-as-a-Service to Enable Digital Transformation

Partners have always been a critical element of Fortinet’s go-to-market strategy. Our goal is to enable our partners to transform the security of their customers, enabling them to safeguard their evolving network requirements. That means providing our partners with the security technology and support they require to deliver those industry-leading protection and value-added services that enable their customers to successfully and confidently deploy their digital transformation strategies.

Security Technology Foundation to Build Your Business: The Fortinet Security Fabric provides our partners with a foundational security architecture that they can build their businesses and practices around. Fortinet’s vast breadth of integrated solutions span the entire digital attack surface - from IoT, to endpoints, web applications, and multi-cloud networks - and provide an ideal entry point for security consolidation that channel partners can build their ‘security stack’ around.

The open nature of the security fabric also provides partners with the flexibility to offer pre-validated technology solutions from Fabric Ready alliance partners such as Sentinel One and Carbon Black, ensuring investment protection for customers through the seamless integration with existing infrastructure. Additionally, our partners themselves can leverage broad API integration to develop their own custom services within the security fabric. 

Fortinet’s commitment to continued innovation is exemplified by the recent evolution of our Security Fabric architecture with the release of FortiOS 6.0, the world’s most deployed network security operating system. FortiOS 6.0 adds more that 200 new security features and capabilities that span eight critical solution areas within our Security Fabric architecture, including management and analytics, multi-cloud, network, advanced threat protection, unified access, web applications, email, and IoT and endpoint security. This breadth of capability highlights just how powerful and integrated the Fortinet Security Fabric is, and why it is able to provide advanced automation and ease of implementation for our partners to leverage.

Closing the Cyber Resources Gap through Unique Programs & Training: Beyond providing our partners with industry-leading security technologies, Fortinet also feels an obligation to fill the cyberskills resource gaps for our partners. As a result, we’re actively evolving our deal registration process, the FortiRewards program, and our partner portals to encourage holistic technical training and align the sales motion with the way customers are buying security both today and tomorrow.

To tackle the growing cybersecurity skills shortage, Fortinet has also developed the Network Security Expert program and the Network Security Academy and partnered with higher education to incorporate cybersecurity curriculum and foster the next generation of workforce-ready security professionals. Another example is the Fortinet Veterans program that provides professional training and then matches military veterans – a population that is well prepared for success in cybersecurity – with partners. This program is already helping fill job openings across our partner organizations.

Security-as-a-Service to Meet On-Demand Requirements & Recurring Revenue: Ultimately, the combination of Fortinet technology and our commitment to support the channel enables our partners to deliver advanced security services that match their customers’ evolving security needs.

To accomplish this, we have built out programs that help our partners deliver Fortinet cloud and support services, combined with technology like our virtual firewalls in a utility-based model. This makes it much easier for their customers to adopt the benefits of the Fortinet Security Fabric with a predictable monthly pricing model, and benefits the partner with a consistent and recurring source of revenue.

To that end, we have also developed our MSSP Center of Excellence that provides content like service creation guides, best practices, and other resources that enable new and existing partners to easily convert various Fortinet technologies into high margin services for their customers.

Fortinet also works with our distribution partners to build options for MSSPs to lease security resources monthly, such as our FortiGate firewalls. This is especially helpful for partners who are new or in the early phases of their transition to managed services so they can build the cost of hardware into their business models and scale services as their business grows, with minimal initial investment.

The breadth and value of the security fabric solutions makes all of this a far simpler proposition for partners transitioning to security services. From small channel partners to large managed security services providers, Fortinet partners can easily build offerings and train their staff around a foundational security architecture, while also having the capabilities and support needed to layer on additional value-added services and third-party security solutions. This enables all our partners to build a security stack that adapts to the changing needs of today’s business by providing transformative security that enables their customer’s digital transformation. 

Click here to learn more about Fortinet’s channel and reseller programs.

You can read the full news releases of everything we announced this week at Accelerate18 such as Fortinet’s FortiOS 6.0 and FortiGuard AI in our newsroom.