SonicWall Channel Exec Valentine Jumps To Fortinet


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Fortinet has tapped a seasoned channel hand to lead its channel program.

Mike Valentine, formerly vice president of Americas sales and channel sales at SonicWall, on Tuesday took over as vice president of Americas channel sales at Fortinet, Sunnyvale, Calif.

One of Valentine's first objectives will be to raise Fortinet's profile by boosting efforts to engage with large enterprises and managed security service providers (MSSPs). He also will be responsible for developing the vendor's partnerships with distributors and direct marketing resellers.

In addition, Valentine will be tasked with targeting the small and midsize businesses by growing Fortinet's partnerships with broadline distributors and national direct marketing resellers (DMR).

In North America, Fortinet partners have enjoy great margins, and enterprise-class products are moving well through channel, Valentine said. He added that he wants to build on Fortinet's strategy of targeting the enterprise market with a dual channel sales and direct touch model.

"In the enterprise model, that direct touch allows us to be experts in the product, and using the channel this way increases profitability," Valentine said.

The biggest problem in the channel these days is maintaining margins, and Fortinet's deal registration program can help partners realize double-digit margins, according to Valentine.

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