A year after the relaunch of the Forcepoint brand - following its acquisition by US defence contractor Raytheon - its new EMEA sales boss is clear about his priorities: a revaluation of its current partners; company expansion in key European markets; and managing GDPR and Brexit.
Kevin Isaac told CRN that he wants to ensure the company's current channel network is not oversubscribed.
"There are 2,500 partners and 30 distributors [for Forcepoint EMEA]. Globally, the Platinum teams have grown by 10 per cent in the last year, and Gold has grown by 26 per cent. This indicates to me at first glance that the channel is coming back to the new Forcepoint brand," Isaacs said.
"Is that too many? I don't know the answer to that yet and my plan is to ask the partners.
"The most important thing for me with partners is to make sure we have adequate coverage for our customers, but making sure those partners are valuing our relationship - in other words are they making money - are we too diluted?…These are the questions I need to ask over the next few months.
"The most important thing to get across to partners is that I'm looking for partners who are willing to be strategic with us: I'm not going to hold a lot of water for people who are opportunistic."
Isaac's streamlining plans follow two significant acquisitions. The addition of Stonesoft next-generation McAfee firewall and Sidewinder proxy firewall technologies from Intel Security in 2016 expanded the cloud and hybrid capabilities of Forcepoint's TRITON security platform.
Citing two of his primary competitors as Symantec and Zscaler, Isaac has his eye on an expansive recruitment drive building Forcepoint's presence in several European markets.
"We've got a lot of hiring to do: a lot. It's very exciting," Isaac enthused.
"We're looking for people for our offices in Reading, Paris, Germany, the Middle East… and the Nordics. It's the usual suspects."
"We know that the biggest challenge in security that we'll have over the next five to 10 years is going to be people. I think there will be 1.5 million open jobs by 2020, according to the analysts. So we need to put enough value into the channel so they can take on interns, and do what they need to do to grow the segment."
Isaac also believes that a hot-button issue for the market is any future agreement between the UK and the EU over data protection.
Yesterday, the government laid out its plans calling for an early "adequacy" agreement with the EU to ensure crucial data to businesses continues to flow uninterrupted after Brexit.
"With Forcepoint, we've got 27 datacentres worldwide. We've got more local datacentres in Europe than any other international vendor in our space," Isaac said.
"All of what's happening with government and data: there's a very interesting point of confluence and I think that partners will find that very compelling because their customers need it [an agreement]."
Outsourcer says the size of the operation should be considered before criticising the error that affected 43,000 women
Vendor says a range of its products will be made SD-WAN compatible, with traditional networking 'completely under disruption'
With just a day to go until the 25th annual Channel Awards, we catch up with the SMB Reseller of the Year category sponsor Exertis, to find out why the sector is such a vital part of its business strategy
Analyst predicts spending on Robotic Process Automation will rise XX per cent next year, driven by price decreases