Third time’s the charm for Fortinet

Third time’s the charm for Fortinet

BUILDING the channel is a top priority for security box maker Fortinet’s new Australia and New Zealand boss.

Steve Clack is the third person in this role in less than two years.

Networking industry veteran Peter Sandilands took up the job in February 2004, but left the company suddenly the following May, citing a difference of opinion over the company’s direction.

He was replaced by Ben Teh, who has now been promoted as Fortinet’s South Asia manager, a similar role he previously held with firewall vendor Watchguard.

Clack is described as a data security specialist and was previously Australia and New Zealand channel director for Trend Micro, and a former sales director for McAfee in the UK, from where he originally hails.

In his new role, Clack has his sights firmly set on boosting the ranks of the company’s channel.

“Fortinet is not a straightforward product to sell — technical expertise is required and we will focus on good-quality partners who can support our customers.”

Clack wants to ensure Fortinet partners are well educated and trained on the range and have the technical expertise and competency required to represent the brand.

As the company has no physical presence in New Zealand it will use distributor Lan1, which was appointed in June, to drive its efforts with the channel.

“We are working closely with Lan1. They are good partners and have great ideas to drive the business forward,” says Clack.

Clack also wants to create opportunities and sales leads for partners by generating end-user demand, but he is still assessing the best way to achieve this.

“We have to enhance the Fortinet name with end-users to drive business for our partners,” he says.

He plans to visit New Zealand within the next few months to meet existing and potentially new Fortinet partners.

There are big opportunities in the network security market at the moment, says Clack.

“It is a very exciting time. Network security is a very big issue and the multilayered approach is very important, especially with unified threat management — users want an all-in-one security solution,” he says.

According to Fortinet, market share figures from research group IDC show it leads the unified threat management segment, a category consisting of integrated multifunction security appliances.

Fortinet produces the FortiGate series of ASIC (application-specific integrated circuit)-accelerated multi-threat network security appliances.

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