Turning convergence and complexity into opportunity

Sean Campbell, Director Canadian Channels, Fortinet

Significant growth opportunities exist in 2023 for partners with the ability to help customers better manage the pressures of three years of rapid digital transformation. The shift toward hybrid and remote work models combined with new cybersecurity risks have increased the complexity of IT and OT environments. Faced with these new challenges, customers are looking for support to help them maintain a strong and consistent security stance.

For these customers struggling to keep up with the pace of change, partners can offer a way forward. Solutions that embrace security and networking convergence offer customers a roadmap to reduced complexity, improved network performance, and the flexibility needed to meet the complexities of hybrid networking now and in the future.

Solving hybrid problems 

Vendors that can provide solutions for security-driven networking demonstrate to customers that they understand the challenges hybrid IT environments pose. Today, most organizations operate across the cloud and on-premise, through software-defined networking and distributed computing. Security solutions must address this new reality and the proliferation of network edges.

Since more edges mean more attack surfaces, traditional security solutions will be less effective at covering everyone, everywhere. Fortunately, pivoting toward converging networking and security solutions offers partners a way to differentiate themselves with new clients or expand their business with existing ones.

Security-driven networking solutions offer deep integration between an organization’s security and network to achieve business outcomes and deliver better end-user experiences. With security-driven networking, partners can provide customers with more protection and improved access control from anywhere.

This next-generation approach enables networks to scale without impacting security. By managing the tight integration between the network infrastructure, cloud, and security architecture as a single fabric, vendors can provide consistent enforcement across multi-edge environments and ensure that security is a central consideration for all business-critical infrastructure decisions.

At Fortinet, our industry-leading portfolio of integrated and automated security tools brings security and networking together on a single platform. As a result, managed security service providers (MSSPs) can offer their customers access to a single-provider solution with managed security and monitoring technologies, advanced networking capabilities, and tools to reduce cyber risk – increasing average revenue per user (ARPU).

Reduce complexity with integrated solutions 

Following a security-driven networking approach does not automatically infer additional complexity. By selecting vendors that deliver an integrated cybersecurity platform approach, partners can help customers connect disparate products, enable product consolidation, and reduce complexity and risk. Without integration, the benefits of a modern and integrated security-driven networking approach are harder to achieve – such as enhanced visibility, automation, and real-time threat intelligence across the extended network.

When evaluating security vendors, MSSPs must consider their customers’ security needs and business objectives. The vendor’s integrated security platform should allow for high-performance networks incorporating security for networks, endpoints and devices, cloud and applications. Flexible and adaptive solutions with a comprehensive set of security solutions can support a variety of use cases critical to business objectives, such as continuous risk assessment and real-time detection and enforcement.

As most organizations continue to deal with cyber skills shortages, solutions that reduce manual tasks can directly impact customers’ operating costs. Security vendors should work with the MSSP to provide artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) capabilities that improve security outcomes and support employee productivity, a value-add that enables in-house teams to focus on critical business tasks.

Find a partner you can trust 

The most successful MSSPs work with their customers as trusted partners, and the relationship between MSSPs and security vendors should be no different.

Fortinet’s Engage Partner Program offers MSSPs a way to build their business by providing access to experts that provide sustained sales, marketing, and executive support. That level of partnership enables MSSPs to integrate Fortinet solutions more easily into their business models — and take advantage of the trends influencing customer decision-making.

Get started on 2023 business priorities 

Choosing the right cybersecurity vendor is critical to determining your success in 2023. Customers are looking for answers to the challenges of rapid digital transformation, and solutions that offer the benefit of convergence and consolidation are high on the list. With a security-driven networking solution, partners can help customers reduce complexity and add extra safety and network controls. They can further deepen their customer relationships by demonstrating how their offerings can help their customer realize tangible business benefits, including lower total cost of ownership and improved operational efficiency. And that’s a great way to start a new year.

Sean Campbell is Director of Canadian Channels at Fortinet