Among the more eye-opening victories in this year's ARC came in the Network Security Appliances category, where in past years the channel has lined up behind SonicWall and Juniper. Both of those vendors scored admirably in the category once more--they tied for first last year, after all--but at spots No. 2 and No. 3 respectively, they are looking up in the standings: at Fortinet.
"Everything from technology to channel investment, every piece of what we're doing, it all made the difference this year," said Fortinet Vice President of Channel Sales Kendra Krause. "We're already looking toward next year to continue this growth and get even higher scores."
Krause contends that the rough economic climate of the past year caused many VARs--and customers--to second- guess their network security solutions and show greater willingness to look beyond more established players like SonicWall, Juniper, Cisco and Trend Micro.
The ARC numbers suggest she's right: One of Fortinet's most impressive scores (103.6) came in quality and reliability of products--a huge vote of confidence for the company's FortiGate line.
While Fortinet gears up for an initial public offering, a rare occurrence for both a security vendor and the economy being what it is, Krause said she and Fortinet's channel team will continue down a path of strategic partner recruitment.