New Fortinet chief overhauls local partner progam

New Fortinet chief overhauls local partner progam

Fortinet’s newly appointed Australia/New Zealand country manager, Ben Teh, has announced plans to overhaul the company’s regional partner program.

Teh, appointed earlier this month as both country manager and South Asia sales director, said the new partner program was designed to give resellers across the region greater access to sales and technology resources.

“The market perceives Fortinet based on the quality of our channel,” he said. “Over the next three months I’ll be assessing that quality to develop more breadth to ensure our clients are looked after.”

Under the proposed FortiPartner Reseller Program, resellers will be tiered into platinum, gold and silver levels. These will be determined by criteria such as annual revenues, number of certified sales and technology staff.

“We have a dedicated trainer to get partners certified and a channel developer based in Taiwan to generate programs for resellers. We will also have dedicated PR people to get the word out,” he said.

The program would also encourage resellers to take an active role in building the market by ensuring price concessions to resellers who achieve specific performance criteria.

Fortinet’s success was derived from its channel, Teh said. By engaging with platinum and silver partners, Fortinet hopes to gain a greater sense of which partners are successful and why.

“Fortinet is very different from other security vendors so we need to have very focused partners who can tell the whole story,” he said. “Our partner program is about acknowledging that effort.”

Teh said the change in management at Fortinet had triggered the changes to the company’s regional partner program.

He was previously country manager, South Asia, for firewall vendor WatchGuard, and southern region sales manager for Sealcorp.

Teh was motivated to join Fortinet by the company’s strength in security management.

Despite the abrupt departure of former Fortinet country manager, Peter Sandilands, Teh said he felt no trepidation in filling the role or in maintaining the company’s 70 per cent quarter on quarter global growth in the last year.

“Coordination of the team wasn’t happening [under Sandilands] and there were problems with local sales and marketing activities,” Teh said. “But, I know this market, and I’m happy to be back home.”

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