Fortinet revisits distribution review

Fortinet revisits distribution review

Vendor gives distributors 60 days to get up to speed with certifications and prove their capabilities

Fortinet is reviewing its distribution line-up

Fortinet is reviewing its distribution line-up

Unified threat management vendor, Fortinet, is reviewing its distribution line-up after experiencing exponential growth in the local market over the past 12 months.

Country manager, Charlie Cote, said the review followed two years of quarter-on-quarter growth in the local market. The vendor initially restructured its channel structure 12 months ago after similar moves in the US.

“Coming on-board two years ago, the strategy for A/NZ was to get a channel partner program in place, which we launched last year. Part of that waslooking at our distribution model at that time and making sure we had the right partners,” he said. “We didn’t shake the tree too much, but since then we’ve been experiencing record growth. Right now we’re anticipating a 65 per cent growth locally from last year.”

Fortinet’s local distributors are Firewall Systems, WhiteGold and Lan 1. The company plans to make an announcement around distribution changes in December, Cote said.

Fortinet has more than 155 channel partners in the local market, compared to a year ago when it had 30-40, he said.

At this point in time, Cote was keen to continue working with two of its distributors.

“We need to make sure if that number moving forward is correct, then maybe we’ll consolidate to two distributors,” he said. “We want to make sure that we have the right partners to grow with us.”

Cote said he was looking at each distributor’s capability to provide support and bring on tier-one partners, their storage, logistics and warehousing techniques, and if they also have the right processes and functions in place to provide point-of-sale reporting.

“We have two distribution partners that have engineers on staff, which are completely certified at the highest level to be able to support our partners. The other distribution partner has certification levels that are two to three years old, so they need to come up to speed within the 60-day timeframe,” he said.

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