Cyber security vendor Forcepoint has unveiled a revamped partner program as part of an effort to increase its footprint in among global enterprises.
The Texas-based vendor has added two new branches to its Forcepoint Global Channel Program that will give enhanced clout and benefits to global system integrators and professional service providers.
The first category, the Global System Integrators (GSI) Platinum, is currently available to a pool of “handpicked” international partners, including Accenture, KPMG, IBM and Fujitsu, with plans to open it out to more in 2020.
To achieve GSI Platinum status, partners must meet an “elevated” certification requirement as well as specific revenue achievements.
Perks of the program include sales and marketing support across the globe, guidelines for global execution, global go-to-market executive sponsorship and technical and centre of excellence (COE) support.
Meanwhile, the Accredited Services Partners (ASP) is aimed at driving partners away from just selling one-off licenses and instead become “strategic consultants to customers”, through more certification and training.
In Australia and New Zealand respectively, distributors Tech Data and ChilliSoft will be part of the early roll-out, while partners including CTM Australia, and Asia-based DocuTech, Pacific Tech and Netpoleon will be among the first sell Forcepoint’s services regionally.
Benefits for them include membership and direct access to the Forcepoint Services Support Community, direct access to in-region product support specialists and access to service partners training events.
The revamped program comes as part of a new global strategy spearheaded by Forcepoint CEO Matt Moynahan aimed at steering partners away from its traditional SMB market to multi-national players.
“Until a couple of years ago, we were more of an SMB player, but since Matt [Moynahan] has come on board we have gone for more of a value play in the enterprise market,” explained Oni Chakravartti, global vice president of channel sales.
“There are some customers who require global deployments across multiple markets: they have a separate ecosystem and provide separate services. Therefore we need partners who can do global deployments and enterprise-class services.”
In addition, according to Chakravartti, the change is a natural shift as the vendor broadens its product portfolio from just a handful of products.
As such, the ASP program is designed to ensure partners consider the wider lifecycle of Forcepoint’s service rather than just “sell one or two products a year”.
“Now we have a whole portfolio and therefore can now provide end-to-end for customers: we can protect the network, the data, the users,” he said. “Partners can cross-sell, upsell and carry the entire bandwidth of our organisation, and therefore the services-driven ones are the more interested in partnering with us.
"The single product sales cannot be scaled, but if you sell a portfolio, you can get a customer invested in you end-to-end.”
As of today, Forcepoint has around 50 partners in the A/NZ region. The regional channel was previously led by F5’s Robert Cipriani, who left after a year to join Cloud Burst as CEO. He was later replaced by Sharlyn Gonsalves as A/NZ channel director.
Looking ahead for the rest of 2019, Chakravartti added: “We want to make sure we have a much tighter relationship with our partners. With security, it cannot just be about selling a product, it has to be the whole lifecycle that is taken into account. That means we have to be committed to the partners: we have to train them and invest them, and the partner has to commit too.”