Reseller News

Demotion for underperforming Fortinet partners

Local Fortinet partners who aren’t reaching revenue targets or certifying staff face demotion over the coming months, as the vendor overhauls its FortiPartner programme.

Fortinet South Pacific regional director Charlie Cote says the company is making the changes to reward partners who are supporting the vendor and to formalise the tier structure.

The FortiPartner programme has three tiers - silver, gold and platinum.

“To date we have more than 100 authorised partners, which includes a handful of gold partners. We don’t have any [local] platinum partners, but we want to make some changes in the coming months to ensure that we are promoting those partners [to gold or platinum] that are continuing to support us.”

Fortinet will be promoting fewer than five partners to platinum level, as it doesn’t want to create too much competition for its partners, Cote says. He doesn’t have numbers yet on how many partners will be promoted from silver to gold, nor how many will be demoted.

“It makes sense to demote some of these partners if they’re not going to engage with us properly. We also want to ‘right size’ the partner programme to minimise the amount of competition at the high levels, where there are partners that aren’t necessarily supporting us,” says Cote.

A letter was sent out recently to partners who hadn’t achieved the minimum requirements to allow them time to get certified.

“If the silver partner has not obtained the revenue status, we can work with them if the intentions are there to ensure we can provide a honorary gold sponsorship until they hit the revenue. We will re-evaluate it [the status] after six to 12 months.”

According to Cote, gaining a silver partner status is not an onerous task.

“You only need one certified engineer and at least two certified sales people. Moving from gold to platinum would require the partner to double the amount of certified engineers and the amount of sales people.”

He adds that one engineer can be certified in five days.