Jon Bove recently rejoined Fortinet as vice president of Channel Sales. We sat down with Jon to get his perspective on his new role and learn about what he envisions for partners going forward with Fortinet.
Can you share what attracted you to rejoin Fortinet?
I’m excited to be back with Fortinet. I look forward to laying out a plan for continued success, celebrating our wins, and getting back in touch with partners. I plan to jump right back in and work with the executive team and partners I previously had relationships with. I’m excited about the prospects and opportunity we have together with our partner ecosystem.
Can you elaborate on the opportunity you see for Fortinet and our channel partners today?
From the start, Fortinet has always been focused on driving business with our partners. We have a mature partner program and an experienced sales team. We are already delivering value to our partners and their business beyond just what we sell. I hope to work to increase this value so we can become more important to their business and to enable them to expand with the Fortinet Security Fabric. It is making a difference out there.
I want partners to build on the Fortinet Security Fabric to deliver their own value-added services, not just implementation services, but also managed services that they can wrap around the fabric.
What will be your immediate focus?
I want to engage with partners over the next few months, because these relationships are vital. In addition, I will focus on continuing efforts to align Fortinet’s partner organization with its sales force. From there, I look forward to building a plan for investment in ways that Fortinet’s sales efforts can engage with those of our partners. We want to focus on helping partners expand their own sales and scale up value-added areas like services.
We want to be consistent and predictable, while tailoring our partner program to the way our partners want to do business.
What about the long-term plan for channel sales?
I think it’s a good time to take a look at what our long-term strategy and plans are. The plan is about aligning better to our overall selling organization. We will continue to look at team execution and making sure we drive drive value for our partners.
I will also look to help improve the profit margins and cash flow of our partners, with a key piece focused on helping partners provide new services that build on Fortinet products. Those efforts will help evolve the Fortinet partner program from a traditional resale opportunity to more of a predictable model that partners can rely on.
We’re looking at ways to help more partners move from a one-time sale relationship with their customers to subscription models that create long-term relationships. We want to help partners look at the lifetime value of their customers and find ways to grow those relationships.
In short, we want to help our partners develop stickier relationships with their customers. This is very important as their customers navigate digital transformation shifts in their business today.
Talk more about your view on services partners can provide.
Customers want solution providers that can not only add value through consulting and related services but also deliver services for the cloud in more on-demand ways. Fortinet will continue to work with our partners to offer services as an operational expense, as opposed to a capital expense. That’s a good opportunity for our partners to take our fabric and add services on top of it.
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