Proofpoint Hires Former Fortinet Exec As North American Channel Chief

Proofpoint has nabbed former Fortinet channel exec Jon Bove as its North American channel chief, as the security vendor looks to expand its push into the channel with regional reseller partners.

Bove joined Proofpoint in August as senior director of North America channels, reporting to Vice President of Worldwide Channels Dee Dee Phelps Acquista. He joined the company from Fortinet, where he was regional vice president of US channels. Fortinet declined to comment on the move.

Mark Miller, partner at M&S Technologies, said the move is a huge channel win for Proofpoint. As a Fortinet partner, Miller said he has known Bove for a long time and called him a ’solid guy’ and ’very smart.’

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’I think they stole a very strong voice at Fortinet… John is extremely channel friendly and very strategic,’ Miller said.

Bove’s appointment comes as Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Proofpoint continues to build out its channel strategy, a push that began three years ago when the security technology vendor hired Phelps Acquista as its first North American channel chief. The company has expanded its worldwide channel team five times in the three years since, Phelps Acquista told CRN.

’We are doing more business with the channel than we ever have,’ Phelps Acquista said. ’I’m very pleased with the progress we’ve made with the channel overall.’ Phelps Acquista could not disclose exactly how much or what percentage of business now goes through the channel, saying only that Proofpoint has made ’great strides’ in growing its channel business.

Now, Phelps Acquista said, Proofpoint is looking to move to its ’next phase’ of channel expansion, led by Bove. She said Proofpoint is looking to expand its reach with regional reseller partners, to supplement the work it already does with solution providers, national security partners and multi-country systems integrators.

’We have been measured in our approach with the channel and we have really been very focused on who we have worked with on purpose by design over the past few years….As we enter the next phase, I think it’s how do we find the right set of partners to focus on next who [will] allow us to double and triple our business. What Jon [Bove] is heading up largely is the help in building out that strategy,’ Phelps Acquista said.

Phelps Acquista said the addition of partners will be ’measured’ and ’strategic’ in North America, rather than strictly based on volume. To those partners, she said Proofpoint brings strong compensation, high product renewal rates and subscription services for additional recurring revenue.

Phelps Acquista said partners can also expect to see some changes to the partner program next year, directed by Director of Global Channel Programs and Operations Brian Kroneman. She said Proofpoint is also in the midst of launching a new partner portal.

’We will expect more of our partners. We want them to be more educated on Proofpoint offerings. We want our customers to first and foremost have a great Proofpoint experience and we do that by systematically and methodically adding the right partners to the mix and expecting something from them,’ Phelps Acqusita said.

’I think for the most part if you talk to the partners we do business with, they are really pleased with the focus and shift and dedication we’ve shown to them over the last 3 years…It’s a very important part of our strategy,’ she said.