CRN Exclusive: ForeScout Promotes Jonathan Corini To Global Channel Chief

ForeScout Technologies North American channel director Jonathan Corini has ascended to the global channel chief role with plans to boost international business and drive more services sales.

The San Jose, Calif.-based Internet of Things security leader has tapped Corini to identify the right mix of national and global partners for ForeScout and grow the company's business with them. Corini takes global channel leadership over from Senior Vice President of Worldwide Sales Brian Gumbel, who has had that additional responsibility on his plate since the November 2017 departure of former global channel chief Todd DeBell.

"[Corini] has a passion unlike anyone else I've ever met in the channel," said Gumbel, who worked alongside Corini at both McAfee and Tanium prior to their arrival at ForeScout.

[Related: ForeScout Worldwide Channel Chief Todd DeBell Leaves Company After 17 Months]

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Corini joined ForeScout from Tanium a year ago as senior director of North American channel sales, and will lead both ForeScout's global channel as well as its Americas theater for the time being, Gumbel said. ForeScout's longer-term plan is to find someone to take over Corini's North America-specific responsibilities, according to Gumbel.

Gumbel praised Corini's excellent go-to-market message as well as the strength of his relationships with national VARs, global partners and IT distributors. Corini's background in sales also helps him understand what solution providers need from a channel as well as a business perspective, Gumbel said.

Corini told CRN he wants to spend time growing in the emerging markets of EMEA (Europe, the Middle East and Africa) as well as APJ (Asia-Pacific and Japan), with a focus on maximizing ForeScout's business in the company's core verticals of financial services, retail, health care and manufacturing. Specifically, Corini is trying to ascertain where ForeScout should invest to drive further international growth.

ForeScout is most interested in partners with strong security and networking expertise, stellar pre-sales assessment and post-sales implementation services, and alignment with the company's top orchestration partners, Corini said. The company also wants partners that can create demand, find quality opportunities, stay involved through the proof of concept, and deliver services, Gumbel said.

The channel has been very successful in selling ForeScout's orchestration offering, which Corini said drives automation, accelerates incident response, and breaks down silos and barriers between technologies though integrations with vendors such as Carbon Black, Splunk, Palo Alto Networks and ServiceNow.

"We continue to expand our product set," Corini said. "Our partners have been very successful in selling core products."

For ForeScout's orchestration modules, Corini said ForeScout plans to ensure partners have been trained on integrating well to maximize partner profitability. The company also plans to enhance its support and focus for delivery partners to ensure that partners delivering services on ForeScout's behalf have the necessary training, shadowing and strategic support, according to Corini.

ForeScout additionally plans to increase its market development funds (MDF) to drive pipeline generation and become more strategic, Corini said, as well as continuing to invest in channel account managers and channel engineering.

The company has actually taken steps to scale down its partner community, Corini said, removing 140 non-strategic, non-scaling solution providers so that ForeScout can maximize its focus on the most heavily invested solution providers.

But overall, ForeScout has grown its global channel community from 500 partners in August 2017 to 900 partners today, Gumbel said, with the number of high-level focus partners jumping from 60 to 80 over the past year.

Corini has taken a pretty good channel program at ForeScout and elevated it over the past year to premier status, laying the groundwork and putting a tremendous amount of structure and personnel in place to drive the organization toward its goals, according to Trevor Smith, executive vice president at Victor, N.Y.-based Brite Computers, No. 426 on the 2018 CRN Solution Provider 500.

"It [the promotion] is extremely well-deserved," Smith told CRN. "It's a smart move by the executive team at ForeScout."

Under Corini, ForeScout has put a strong program in place that helps promote the resellers who've invested most heavily in their relationship with ForeScout to go out and get new business, Smith said. Corini has obtained high levels of commitment from ForeScout's executive team, salespeople and channel partners in a remarkably short period of time, according to Smith.

On a personal level, Smith described Corini as a straight shooter and an ethical, stand-up guy who's devoted to helping partners build up programs in traditional areas of weakness to help turn those into strengths. Smith hopes that the structures, programs and processes Corini has put in place in North America remain consistent and grow into ForeScout's other regions across the globe.

"He's been building toward this role for a long time," Smith said. "Now, the stars are aligning for him."