F5’s channel boss Neill Burton has said he wants to "turn up the visibility" of the company in the security market, and prove that it is about more than just application delivery networking (ADN).
He also told CRN that the company’s partner programme, Unity, is being opened up to MSPs for the first time, adding that a third of F5’s business is now related to managed services.
F5 specialises in the ADN market, which Burton says the company dominates with 50 per cent market share.
However, the channel veteran commented that he would like to see F5 expand that leadership across the wider security space.
“We need to spread our dominance to the broader security market. So we need to talk about our being a security company, rather than just an ADN company,” he said.
Burton (pictured) claimed that F5’s technology – including Big-IP DNS, which keeps organisations' applications up and running during high query volumes and DDoS attacks – is used in the background of many retailers and financial companies.
Other products that F5 delivers include application security management, link controller technology and secure web gateway services.
But from a brand perspective, he said that since he joined the company in July he has been discovering products and services that partners and customers are not aware F5 delivers.
“The challenge for me is getting the exposure with partners and making sure they know that we are a grown-up security company. Because at the moment they just know us for our core products,” he said.
“F5 technology is used in the background; products including Big-IP DNS are used in the top 10 banks, five of the top 10 retailers – but from a brand perspective, nobody knows that. So my challenge – which is an easy one – is just to ensure our partners know about that.”
The vendor currently has about 230 partners in the UK – which Burton claims is F5’s fastest-growing territory in EMEA – selling with and through the likes of Computacenter, Kelway and Softcat.
Burton said that as well as working with these resellers and signing up new security partners for the new market push, he is introducing systems integrators, MSPs, outsourcers and consultancy companies into the fold of its partner programme for the first time to drive his security agenda.
“I want to recruit security-specific resellers, as well as MSPs, SIs and outsourcers in the UK. I have a feeling that there is a whole new market that I haven’t been in before, and when I open the door into the security market, I’ll find a whole new bunch of players that I have never dealt with before.
“If they are delivering security recommendations and strategy to areas such as the FTSE 100, they are the kind of partners I am looking for,” he said.
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