ARC 2010: Network Security Applicances3:07 PM EST Thu. Nov. 04, 2010
In an extremely close battle, Fortinet edged SonicWall for the top spot in Network Security Appliances.
Fortinet collected an overall score of 87.6 points, in a statistical dead heat over SonicWall's 86.8.
Fortinet recorded its best results in the Product Innovation category, where it racked up an average score of 95.7 compared with SonicWall's 93.9. But SonicWall, on the strength of its 6-point advantage in the Marketing Support criteria, captured the overall Support category.
It all came down to partnership. Fortinet managed to win all seven Partnership criteria, albeit by small margins in some cases. In the end, that was enough to propel Fortinet to the overall win for the second consecutive year.
Fortinet Vice President of Channel Sales Kendra Krause points to the growing adoption of cloud computing as key to driving business for solution providers.
"We have always had profitable partners, and that's due to our high margins as well as our deal protection program," said Krause. "We're also seeing more partners go into cloud-based security services, and they're now seeing the fruits of recurring revenue."
Fortinet has grown its channel team during the past couple of years, at a time when many competitors were cutting back, Krause said. The company's IPO last November has helped drive that expansion, and Fortinet is still bringing on field channel account managers and inside channel account managers, she added.
"The thing that has always resonated with our clients is the simplicity of [Fortinet's] message," said Jonathan Dambrot, managing director of Warren, N.J.-based security solution provider Prevalent Networks.
"Fortinet is also strong from an engineering standpoint and the core product functionality answers a need in the marketplace that the competition has struggled to keep up with," Dambrot added.