Achieving edge security comes down to flexibility, integration and performance

By Sean Campbell

Sean Campbell, Director Canadian Channels, Fortinet

Last year was a challenging one, organizations struggling to stay ahead of the digital transformation brought on by the pandemic. Networks are expanding at break-neck speeds, the perimeter has extended across the entire infrastructure. The list grows longer by the day – WAN, and LAN with off-network devices, multi-cloud, converged operational technology networks, LTE and 5G, the internet, and most recently, the home edge. The speed of this change, along with vendor and solutions complexity, make today’s networks even more difficult to secure as they often lack a unifying security strategy or framework.

This is the challenge channel partners face as they strive to help shepherd customers through this digital innovation. Those able to help their customers successfully achieve their goals are recognized as trusted advisors and find themselves on a growth trajectory. 

At Fortinet, our channel partners play a critical role in helping us secure users, devices, applications, and edges everywhere. That’s why our partner enablement initiatives and industry-leading security products and solutions encourage channel partners to create service offerings that drive growth and profitability, regardless of their size or business objectives. 

Important Areas of Opportunity

Today there are two important areas of opportunity helping our channel partners do just that – and, as a result, thrive. 

The first area is integration. The fragmentation of network edges has created networks with too many new, siloed security solutions that do not talk to other networked devices and require separate management and collaboration tools. In many cases, this inability to share threat intelligence or synchronize a response makes response times slower. 

To have a chance at keeping up with the threat landscape, organizations need an integrated approach to security – a collaborative system of tools that work together to monitor the network, share information, and respond to threats no matter where they occur. 

Our partners and their customers appreciate how the Fortinet Security Fabric, powered by the FortiOS operating system, lets organizations consolidate their security into a single, integrated platform. With expanded visibility and control, our partners can ensure the consistent deployment and enforcement of security policies with centralized management across the entire distributed network. 

Recently, we unveiled FortiOS 7.0, a major release upgrading the world’s most broadly deployed security operating system. The release featured over 300 new features and updates to provide an even more consistent security approach for all network edges. These improvements make it possible to deliver an expansive and integrated cybersecurity platform even in the face of today’s hyper-fragmented networks. 

Flexibility is another area where we see channel partners thriving. Demand is high for solutions that offer flexible, low-cost consumption models that deploy quickly, whether in a physical, virtual, cloud, or as-a-Service environment. We have seen significant growth in consumption offerings, especially around threat detection security. In fact, at our recent Accelerate conference we unveiled Engage 2.0, which introduces several new consumption models and other benefits related Fortinet’s endpoint solutions. Now, our partners are leveraging these models to move from a one-time sale relationship with their customers to subscription models that create long-term relationships. 

By creating these flexible models, we help partners understand the lifetime value of their customers and uncover ways to grow those relationships – and their business. 

The most successful channel partners recognize that customers want solution providers to add value through consulting services and adapt quickly to a world of business driven by digital, cloud and remote work. By helping our partners provide new services built on Fortinet products, we are evolving our partner program beyond a traditional resale opportunity. Now, partners can shift to a more predictable model where services are offered not as a capital expense but as an operational one. 

It is an approach that offers new growth opportunities for our partners and innovative, integrated security outcomes for customers. 

Sean Campbell, is Director Canadian Channels, Fortinet