Fortinet is planning to triple its UK management team in the coming months as it gears up for its latest market assault.
The firm, which recently lost UK and Ireland vice president, Phil Keeling, to rival Juniper (CRN Online, 10 August), is planning a significant investment in the UK channel to grab market share.
Andre Stewart, EMEA vice president, said: “Due to our history in the UK and the investment that we have made in the UK, we do not have the footprint or mindshare that we maybe have in some other places. We are going to make the extra effort in pushing investment in the UK.
“We are aiming to triple the size of the team in the UK. We have 10 people at the moment, but are looking to increase that to 30 in a fairly quick timeframe as fast as we are able to hire quality people.”
Fortinet has signed a replacement for Keeling, but Stewart declined to reveal who it would be.
“Phil was a great account man-ager for Fortinet and I’m sure he will be for
Juniper. But we are now moving to the next stage, which is growing the business
and that takes a different type of person. We do have somebody and will be
they are as soon as we are able to.”
In terms of the channel, Stewart said that the main emphasis will be
“We want to drive a quality channel in the UK. We are doing quite a lot of work to ensure that the channel is trained up and knows our products. We are certainly known in the SME space, but not in the mid-market and above.”
He said 30 per cent of the business is SME driven, 30 per cent comes from the mid-market and enterprise area and 30 per cent from the carrier market. Only 10 per cent comes from new products.
“We have not leveraged the capabilities of our new products. Our strategy is to get a channel that knows about all our products and to invest in the idea of quality over quantity. We are anxious to give good margins to the channel.”
Stewart said the firm will be re-evaluating its channel partners to achieve real differentiation in its various product sets.
“We have not pushed into the SME or enterprise market as much as we could have and sometimes a different type of channel is needed for those type of products,” he said.
Kay Eggleston, managing director of Fortinet distributor Noxs, said: “Fortinet is trying to focus more on partners and it is definitely putting its money where its mouth is.”
Eggleston said the strategy of cutting down resellers is not a bad thing.
“There is no point having 200 resellers that are not doing very much. It is better to focus on 30 key partners that are going to deliver the goods. Our pipeline with Fortinet is very strong and our partner base is very committed to it,” she said.
“They have very aggressive growth plans and want to bring more pull through the channel.”
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