Fortinet Channel Chief: Integrated Security Creates 'New Opportunity' For Solution Providers

Security is one of the biggest opportunities for the channel, but partners that can provide an integrated security offering will find particularly high demand for their skills, said Fortinet Vice President of Americas Channels and Enhanced Technologies Joe Sykora Sunday at XChange 2016 in San Antonio, Texas.

By integrating traditional security appliances and emerging technologies, there is an opportunity for partners to create more actionable intelligence, Sykora said. From there, solution providers can use more automation to focus on the alerts that really matter, he said.

"I think with some of the technology out there you can really give your partners and your customer a better experience," Sykora said.

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That integrated security approach is one that Fortinet is betting on, building what it calls a "security fabric." The Sunnyvale, Calif.-based security vendor has created an integrated ecosystem that includes Fortinet's own extensive portfolio of technology, channel partners, and third-party partners in cloud, software-defined networking, sandboxing, testing, SIEM and management, and Single Sign On technologies.

"We've been known for security appliances, but there's a new opportunity here ... to take everything we've always done and integrate it into a single fabric," Sykora said. That's a fabric that Fortinet will continue to expand, he said.

While other vendors are also taking aim at this integrated platform approach, Fortinet distinguishes itself with its integration and processing system, more than 200 threat-sharing agreements, zero-day discovery and a detection approach that uses behavioral detection, machine learning and hardware virtualization to go beyond a static signature, he said.

Jeremy MacBean, director of marketing and communications at IT Weapons, the IT services division of Konica Minolta Business Solutions Canada and an Ontario-based Fortinet partner, said an integrated security approach is key for a solution provider like IT Weapons to capitalize on an exploding market for managed security services.

"As more and more solution providers are building out a managed security practice, a comprehensive suite like that becomes critical," MacBean said.

MacBean said Fortinet technologies play a "big role" in IT Weapons' security services practice. IT Weapons chose the vendor based on the quality of its technology and integrated approach, MacBean said.

"Technology that is end-to-end all the way from the endpoint to the data center, that’s what organizations need," he said.