CRN Exclusive: Forcepoint Names Former RES Software, Citrix Exec As New Global Channel Chief


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Forcepoint has landed former Citrix and RES Software channel exec Tom Flink to lead its channel sales, the company announced Wednesday.

Flink joined Forcepoint two weeks ago as vice president of global channel sales. He replaces Vice President of Global Channel Sales and Professional Services John Starr, who left the company earlier this year to take a role as operating partner at H.I.G. Capital.

Flink joins Forcepoint from RES Software, where he served as senior vice president of global sales and services. Before joining RES Software, he held top sales and channel roles at Citrix. Prior to the vendor roles, Flink also held a variety of sales roles as different solution providers and resellers.

[Related: Forcepoint Acquires RedOwl To Add Security Analytics, UEBA Capabilities]

In an interview with CRN, Flink said he was drawn to the role at Forcepoint because of the growing opportunity around cybersecurity, as well as the company's "fresh and differentiated approach" around what it calls a human-centric approach to security. 

"While I haven't worked for a traditional security company … it's hard to be in this industry and not touch on security," Flink said. "From a broad view, I can bring some new thoughts on how to partner and build a vibrant community of rabid fans for the company by leveraging my partner background … I look more toward my experience as a partner when I think about those things. When you get partners to wake up every day thinking about being a Forcepoint partner, that is a win."  

Forcepoint has been formed over the last year-and-a-half through a series of acquisitions. It was originally formed through the combination of a Raytheon division, Websense and the McAfee Next-Generation Firewall and McAfee Firewall Enterprise businesses from Intel Security (also known as Stonesoft and Sidewinder, respectively). In February, the company acquired cloud access security brokerage solution Skyfence from Imperva to add to that portfolio, as well as reorganized and launched its human-centric security strategy. Finally, in August the company acquired RedOwl to add security analytics capabilities.

Flink said Forcepoint already has a "great foundation to start from" when it comes to its partner program. He said he would look to particularly invest in the company's channel team, adding headcount to make sure Forcepoint has the right level of people and coverage in the field. He said he would also look to ensure consistency in engagement with partners through the partner program and rewarding partners who add value to customers.  

Flink said he will also look to "amplify the message around the human-centric approach to security" and more generally get the word out more to partners about Forcepoint. He said that push will apply to both current and new partners of Forcepoint.

"At the end of the day that is what partners are looking for … We have something to bring to the table that is unique, and we have a differentiated approach to how we are solving more complex security problems," Flink said.

"Relationships are built and trust is established over time … People do business with people they trust and they want to understand how we can be successful together," Flink said.

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