ForeScout has shown strong recent growth that has begun to strain its old policy of dealing directly with its partners, so it has signed North American deals with the two VADs which best complement their product set. The company is already fairly strong in Canada, and is looking to distribution to strengthen Canadian presence further.
Today, ForeScout Technologies is announcing two new North American distribution relationships with Arrow Electronics and Westcon Group North America, their first distribution deals in North America. The channel-friendly vendor has been in a growth spurt, which made the move to distribution services a logical one as they look to both provide more services to existing partners, as well as add new ones.
ForeScout makes network visibility solutions that let organizations continuously monitor and mitigate vulnerabilities and cyberattacks. ForeScout CounterACT is their main platform, complemented by ControlFabric integration modules.
“We have been around since 2000, and because we have longevity we are different from startups in this space,” said Brian Gumbel, ForeScout’s VP of Americas Sales. “We have a mature product and many long-term relationships. Customers see us as integrating well with any technology they have in their environments, because we are like Switzerland, and integrate well with others. We provide complete visibility into every aspect of the network – not just endpoints. We are agentless and can see every type of device out there.”
ForeScout has close to 2000 customers globally, across the spectrum from SMB to mid-tier to enterprise, and in a broad array of verticals including manufacturing, retail, federal government, and financial.
“While we have been around since 2000, security being on top of mind recently has meant that in the last few years, we have had even better growth. The last two years we have grown 50 per cent year over year,” Gumbel said. “As we are a channel-friendly company, all that business is channel driven.”
Gumbel said that about 99 per cent of their business goes through partners, with whom they have dealt directly in the past. The recent spurt in business has made working directly with partners more cumbersome however.
“We decided to move to a distribution-based model because we believe we have reached our absolute magnitude of growth with our channel today,” he said.
There isn’t much mystery about ForeScout’s choice of Westcon and Arrow, as both have a focus on networking and security distribution.
“We want to go with organizations that provide value add,” Gumbel indicated. “Both distributors align directly to our business model and where we want to go with our partners. Both have strong market segment expertise, can help with pre-sales engineering, and can add value to the channel organization.”
ForeScout sees Arrow and Westcon’s distribution capabilities as essential to continuing their recent growth rates.
“It’s the growth that is the key,” Gumbel said. “We want to build a world-class billion dollar business, and their logistics, credit management, and helping partners with training will help that.”
Gumbel stated that while ForeScout is looking to provide improved services to their existing solution provider base, they are also expecting distribution to add a significant number of partners.
“We want to make sure we can service partners who have been loyal to us over the years and make sure they experience success, but we won’t turn away from new partners, and distributors have an important role to play there,” he said. “Expanding our partner ecosystem is definitely top of mind for us.”
“This is a great attach rate offering,” said Jennifer Geisler, VP of Marketing at ForeScout. “We integrate with about 50 other vendors, and partners will be working with some of them. It makes us an easy upsell opportunity, especially since we are vendor-agnostic and provide visibility no one else has.”
ForeScout is also looking to Westcon and Arrow to grow their channel presence in Canada, which is already fairly good.
“We’ve got a good starting point in Canada, with about a dozen partners today,” Gumbel said. “We see it as one of the fastest growing markets for us.”
Gumbel’s Canadian experience – he ran sales in the Canadian market for McAfee and for endpoint security and systems management provider Tanium – is also a factor here.
“We’ve seen Brian’s ability to scale previously,” Geisler said. “To find someone at his level with multiple years’ experience in the Canadian market was also very attractive to us. We wanted to bring those nuances to ForeScout.”