SecurityBrief New Zealand logo
New Zealand's leading source of cybersecurity and cyber-attack news
Story image

EXCLUSIVE: Forcepoint global channel chief talks strategy

By Kai Ping Lew
Tue 21 May 2019
FYI, this story is more than a year old

As a solution sold 100% via the channel, cybersecurity solutions company Forcepoint places a strong emphasis on its partner relationships.

It has streamlined its strategy into an adaptive trust approach that aims to prevent cyber-attacks and enable employees to be more productive.

Techday spoke to Forcepoint global channel sales manager Oni Chakravartti about the company’s relationship to its channel partners, its global channel strategy, and the latest changes to its partner programme.

Why is Forcepoint streamlining its partnership programme tiers from four tiers into three?

We want to drive a frictionless channel – that’s our strategy.

We were making it too complicated for the partners, and we were seeing that the differentiation between the Associate and Silver tiers was small.

That’s when we decided that we’re going to have Platinum, Gold, and Bronze tiers because first, it would help us to narrow our focus on the partners, and the second was consolidating the tiers so they were differentiated enough and making it easy for everyone – and this applies to our partner programme worldwide.

What are you hoping to achieve through more transparency in the programme?

A frictionless channel should feel like partners are working with us, within the same ecosystem.

They must feel like part of the family - like we are one organisation - so they can order products easily, they know what products are coming out, and they will know what is the roadmap of the product.

If you look at the transparency standpoint, partners should know exactly which tier they fall into, what benefits they get, and what they need to do to move up the value chain.

They don’t have to wait an entire year - and we want to give them flexibility, and this can be achieved within the quarter.

I believe that if we have to scale, we have to build trust with the channel ecosystem.

Partners are key to helping us scale and drive a force multiplier effect to our organisation. 

I’m not in the position to sprinkle dollars where I’m not going to get economies of scale, so for the partners who are committed to working with us, we're going to invest in them, we're going to help them out, we're going to enable them.

We’re also planning to launch new partner portal in the third quarter where the partners can log in, see their revenue trends, how much they have sold, what they have done, what our target is, and see what their certification level is.

So the entire portal is going to help them to dynamically manage their engagement with us through a digital platform.

How is Forcepoint’s new Authorised Service Provider programme different from the existing partner programme?

With ASP, we’re selecting partners who are interested in building services platforms with us and providing those services to the market.

It will encompass enablement, training, and NFR.

ASP is going to be a full-fledged branded service programme, and we will make sure that certified partners in the ecosystem are highlighted.

How are you customising your approaches to the channel in different geographical regions?

For the majority of MSPs, there are a lot of similarities.

Everyone is approaching it as a monthly subscription market. The majority of the players right now are going for the mid-market play.

In APAC, they’re looking at the lower-mid and mid-markets.

As for the large enterprises, those are more of a managed services deals being done by the global partners.

We have not yet come to a point which is a true MSP which entails dynamic billing, auto-billing – those things haven’t started yet in the industry.

But we anticipate that’s going to happen very soon, and we will be coming out with certain initiatives going forward where we can do that.

But as far as our MSP program goes, we are controlling it, making sure we identify the right partners and offering this as a service.

And I think there is fairly good commonality between partners - the only thing is we are seeing couple of niche distributors in Europe also going after the MSP market and offering that as a service to the second tier resellers.

Whereas here in Asia, we haven't seen that happen.

Mainly the resellers are selling as an MSP not the distributors.

Also, for the first time in the history of Forcepoint, we are launching a rebate program for our Platinum partners, so partners will be given a yearly target and a quarterly target.

And if they miss the quarter’s target, and then they make the year’s target, they will get receive a rebate at the end of the year.

We want to compensate partners very heavily for working with us.

However, what we’ve done in Asia-Pacific is keep the threshold of the partners a little lower from the revenue standpoint, so that they can move up the value chain faster because the market is a little different than the rest of the world.

So for Asia-Pacific, Australia, Japan, we have a lower threshold for partners to become Platinum or Gold partners compared to the rest of the world.

Related stories
Top stories
Story image
Tech job moves
Tech job moves - Adatree, Brother, Databricks, Nutanix & Rubrik
We round up all job appointments from May 20-26, 2022, in one place to keep you updated with the latest from across the tech industries.
Story image
Could New Zealanders initiate a cyber attack from within?
The threat landscape is significantly increasing worldwide, and the opportunities it presents are a growing concern in Aotearoa.
Story image
The path to bolstering supply chain security in New Zealand
A significant amount of today's business and leisure activity relies on IT supply chains. From complex international freight trades to local small business distribution channels, any supply chain that involves IT infrastructure serves as a crucial tool in our daily lives. 
Story image
Microsoft NZ and TupuToa to boost diversity in cybersecurity sector
Microsoft NZ has teamed up with TupuToa to co-develop a cyber security employment programme specifically aimed at creating more diversity in Aotearoa's cybersecurity sector.
Story image
i-PRO releases smallest AI-based surveillance camera on the market
The new i-PRO mini network camera is now available, with a pocket-sized form factor and full AI analytics functionality.
Story image
Elevation of Privilege the top 2021 Microsoft vulnerability
BeyondTrust has released its 2022 Microsoft Vulnerabilities Report, finding that Elevation of Privilege is the top vulnerability category for the second consecutive year.
Story image
Sysdig unveils new Kubernetes troubleshooting and cloud innovations
Sysdig has introduced two new innovations that look to help bolster cloud services and simplify Kubernetes troubleshooting.
Story image
Vectra AI
Understanding the weight on security leader’s shoulders, and how to shift it
Millions of dollars of government funding and internal budgets are being funnelled into cybersecurity to build resilience against sophisticated threats, indicating how serious this issue has become.
Story image
Maintaining secure systems with expectations of flexible work
Most office workers feel they've proved they can work successfully from home, and as much as employers try, things aren't going back to the way they were anytime soon.
Story image
Asia Pacific plagued by sophisticated bad bots - report
The three most common bot attacks were account takeover, content or price scraping, and scalping to obtain limited-availability items.
Story image
What every CISO must answer to enable a best-in-class security operations program
It has been widely reported recently that South Australian government employees have been the victims of a cyberattack.
Story image
Third-party automotive apps bear significant privacy risks
Mobile applications for connected cars provide various features to make life easier for motorists, but they can also be a source of risk.
Story image
ChildFund launches new campaign to protect children online
ChildFund says WEB Safe & Wise aims to protect children from sexual exploitation and abuse online while also empowering them to become digitally savvy. 
Story image
Remote Working
Successful digital transformation in the hybrid work era is about embracing shifting goalposts
As organisations embraced remote working, many discovered they lacked the infrastructure needed to support history’s first global load test of remote work capabilities.
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
Gartner reveals top three tech trends for banks this year
Gartner says generative artificial intelligence, autonomic systems and privacy-enhancing computation are gaining traction in banking and investment services.
Story image
Data Protection
Information management capabilities to meet privacy requirements
Organisations with customers or operations across more than one country face a spate of new and proposed privacy and data protection laws.
Story image
Comcast to use ThreatQuotient for cybersecurity operations
Comcast, the parent company of NBC Universal and SKY Group, has chosen ThreatQ Platform and ThreatQ Investigations to meet their cybersecurity needs.
Story image
APAC ranks third-highest region targeted by ransomware
Asia Pacific has ranked the third-highest region globally to be targeted by ransomware, according to cybersecurity firm Group-IB.
Story image
Cyber attacks
Devastating cyber attacks expected to hit energy sector
Energy executives anticipate life, property, and environment-compromising cyber attacks on the sector within the next two years.
Story image
New Relic
New Relic launches vulnerability management platform
New Relic has introduced New Relic Vulnerability Management to help organisations find and address security risks faster and with greater precision.
Story image
Ponemon Institute
Email revealed to be riskiest channel for data loss
More than half (60%) of organisations experienced data loss or exfiltration caused by an employee mistake on email in the last 12 months.
Story image
Accenture - a collective security approach a driving factor for cyber resilience
With the approaching Davos World Economic Forum upon us, it is even more imperative to discuss the impact of cybersecurity on business operations leading into the future.
Story image
Employees on the frontline of cyber defense - report
In the first quarter of 2022, employees found themselves more than ever at the frontline of cyber defense, according to a new report from Kroll. 
Story image
Tech job moves - Forcepoint, Malwarebytes, SolarWinds & VMware
We round up all job appointments from May 13-20, 2022, in one place to keep you updated with the latest from across the tech industries.
Story image
Identity and Access Management
The post-pandemic workforce requires secure IAM capabilities
HID Global discusses what identity and access management means for organisations in today's convoluted digital world.
Story image
The ups and downs and runarounds of catching cybercriminals in NZ
We're becoming more and more aware of cybercrimes but how many criminals actually get caught? The New Zealand police explain why the answer is complicated.
Story image
More than 40% of banks worried about cloud security - report
Publicis Sapient's new report finds security and the lack of cloud skills and internal understanding of business benefits are big obstacles for banks moving to the cloud.
Story image
WhatsApp and QR codes the next scam threat - report
KnowBe4 has warned it expects to see an increase in QR Codes and the WhatsApp chat platform being used for phishing and other scams. 
Story image
BYOD / Bring Your Own Device
How zero trust can lead the battle against ransomware
SecOps teams champion a zero trust strategy to support the fight against the escalating risk of cybercrime and help monitor threat actors across a network.
Story image
Trojan cyber attacks hitting SMBs harder than ever - Kaspersky
In 2022 the number of Trojan-PSW detections increased by almost a quarter compared to the same period in 2021 to reach 4,003,323.
Story image
Customer experience
Gartner recognises Okta for abilities in Access Management
Okta has announced it has been recognised as a Customers' Choice for the fourth time in a row in the Gartner Peer Insights "Voice of the Customer" report.
Story image
Managed service provider
Barracuda MSP Day 2022 highlights MSP opportunities
Barracuda Networks has released a report showing global services-related MSP revenue is set to increase by more than a third in 2022 compared to 2021.
Story image
Amazon Web Services / AWS
RedShield leverages AWS to scale cybersecurity services
"Working with AWS gives RedShield the ability to mitigate significant application layer DDoS attacks, helping leaders adopt best practices and security architectures."
Story image
APAC organisations fail to disclose ransomware breaches
85% of organisations in APAC were breached by ransomware at least once in the past five years, but only 28% publicly disclosed the incident.
Story image
Fortinet introduces self-learning AI in latest offering
Fortinet is introducing self-learning AI capabilities in its new network detection and response offering, FortiNDR.
Story image
Let’s clear the cloud visibility haze with app awareness
Increasingly, organisations are heading for the cloud, initiating new born-in-the-cloud architectures and migrating existing applications via ‘lift and shift’ or refactoring.
Story image
Alarming surge in Conti Ransomware Group activity - report
A new report has identified a 7.6 per cent increase in the number of vulnerabilities tied to ransomware in Q1 2022.
Story image
Global cybersecurity insurance market worth $11.5b this year
Future Market Insights finds the cybersecurity insurance market is expected to reach USD$11.5 billion in 2022, growing to $61.2 billion in 10 years.
Story image
Silver Peak
The path to an adaptive, modern network
Managing and securing the network looks different than it did just two years ago—especially given that most of these networks are made up of multi-generations of infrastructure stitched together over time.
Story image
'Alarming' rise in ransomware threats - Verizon report
As criminals look to leverage increasingly sophisticated forms of malware, it is ransomware that continues to prove particularly successful.
Story image
CERT NZ releases first Cyber Security Insights for 2022
CERT NZ has released Quarter One: Cyber Security Insights 2022, which offers an overview of reports about cybersecurity incidents affecting New Zealanders.
Threat actors are exploiting weaknesses in interconnected IT/OT ecosystems. Darktrace illuminates your entire business and takes targeted action to stop emerging attacks.
Link image
Story image
Vishing attacks reach all time high - Agari and PhishLabs
"Hybrid vishing campaigns continue to generate stunning numbers, representing 26.1% of total share in volume so far in 2022."
Story image
Cybersecurity prompts upgrade for 1.3 billion electricity meters
ABI Research finds Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) and cybersecurity concerns are prompting the upgrade of 1.3 billion electricity meters by 2027.