CRN Exclusive: Pulse Secure Lands New CMO To Drive Partner Growth Around Services, Consulting

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Pulse Secure's new Chief Marketing Officer Scott Gordon plans to focus on boosting services and virtual and cloud appliance business for channel partners.  

The San Jose-based security vendor hired the former RiskIQ CMO to expand its global go-to-market strategy, branding, channel and sales enablement. Gordon told CRN exclusively that he was excited by the opportunity to work with a larger, more incumbent player in the industry as he did from 2011 to 2015, when he served as CMO of Campbell, Calif.-based ForeScout.

"Pulse Secure has a strong value proposition that would be compelling for large-to-medium enterprises as well as service providers, who need flexibility and scale to allow users to get access to resources wherever they are," said Gordon, who began his tenure at Pulse Secure on Dec. 1 after spending 18 months at RiskIQ. 

[Related: Pulse Secure To Acquire Brocade's Virtual Application Delivery Controller Business]

Gordon said he plans to focus on expanding Pulse Secure's service portfolio around training and implementation so that partners can better address the business needs and compliance requirements of their end customers. Under Gordon, Pulse Secure's larger partners should expect to see an expansion of their services revenues on top of their product revenue.

Pulse Secure has enjoyed a tremendous upswing in virtual and cloud appliances, Gordon said, with high quarter-over-quarter growth.

Partners may have traditionally delivered Pulse Secure's security access offerings with their own appliances, Gordon said, but now enjoy greater flexibility among the company's entire product line from the traditional network to outside the network for more resources and accessibility.  

Pulse Secure is also looking to support solution providers in the process of building out an advisory practice through innovative campaigns that allow them to better communicate with and enhanced their managed services for customers, Gordon said.

This could take the form of executive briefings, strategic partnerships, or a different forum where solution providers can speak with their customers about business problems and where Pulse Secure fits into that solution stack.

Pulse Secure has more than 3,000 partners globally, Gordon said, with a majority of the company's business going through the channel. The vendor works directly with larger partners, and goes through distributors such as Ingram Micro and Westcon when dealing with smaller partners, according to Gordon.

As far as the channel is concerned, Gordon is looking to have marketing play a more significant role in contributing to the partner's pipeline, helping them source opportunities, and maintain ongoing influence.

From a training and enablement standpoint, Gordon is looking to grow the number of channel partners that have gone through Pulse Secure's certification program as well as boosting the frequency with which partners access the company's channel portal and register deals. And through enhanced channel marketing, he said Pulse Secure is looking to generate more leads and create more sales opportunity.

Gordon said he hopes to get channel partners more knocks on the door from their end customers, boost positive feedback from solution providers, provide support that's superior to other network security players, and provide the channel with a more flexible way to service customers. 

"We've worked with Pulse for a long time, and their team is very solid," said John VanBlaricum, vice president of global marketing for Kudelski Security. "The addition of a seasoned marketing guy only spells good things for the company."

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