A 100 percent channel organization, Forcepoint is committed to ensuring that the partner’s business is profitable, because only then will they continue to invest in Forcepoint in terms of people, money and time.
How has been Forcepoint’s positioning in India market? Can you shed some light on the recent offerings?
Forcepoint is positioned as an enterprise security solutions organization providing cutting edge technology and security solutions to enterprises, government, public sector banks and private sector banks across verticals. In terms of new offerings, lots of new technologies have been added in the past few weeks and months. We are trying to understand the cyber security issue in a completely different, fresh and new perspective.
The Forcepoint strategy is to observe people and protect against specific behaviors which lead to critical data and IP loss. This people-centric vision drives Forcepoint’s strategy to create security solutions and programs capable of observing behavior and deciphering intent in order to proactively protect users, critical data and, most importantly, the point at which they intersect.
“We make sure that the partners who invest in us are always profitable. It is a two way thing.”
Partners & Alliances
If you look at what has been constant right from the time cyber security started till now, is the people. Newer technologies have come, with its newer problems but the person involved has been constant, even thought the technologies have changed. Forcepoint is looking at the entire cyber security through a prism, through a human- centric angle.
How do you find the Indian market as compared to other global markets with respect to security?
India is one of the fastest growing markets with the economy doing really well and a lot of investments happening in the country. India’s contribution to global business is much higher than other markets. The government’s investment in security infrastructure too has increased. There have been a lot of government projects and deployments, a very good sign. This makes it the best time to be in India.
Which other countries does Forcepoint have its presence in?
Forcepoint is present in multiple countries across the globe. In APAC, we have large presence in Singapore, and Australia as well as offices in Korea, Japan, China and a number of branches in other countries as well in Asia. We have a similar structure in Europe and in the US.
What is your Channel strategy and how many channel partners you have presently? Are there any new plans or programs that you have launched for the channel partners?
Forcepoint is a 100 percent channel organization. We have two tier channel architecture with distributors and partners. Amongst the partners we have platinum, gold, silver and associate level of partnerships. At the end of the day if the partner’s business is profitable, they will continue to do business with us for a longer period of time. They will invest more in to our business in terms of people, money and time. At Forcepoint, It is our conscious effort to make sure that our partners remain profitable and continue to grow. From lead generation activity to helping partners acquire new customers, we keep doing a lot of activities every quarter. Recently we did a program called Terrific Tuesday.
Terrific Tuesday helps our partner reach out to a pre-identified set of customers and we do a campaign around that, where we take one technology to that pre-defined set of customers and try to build a market out of it. We create awareness out of it and once awareness is built, we try to create or build a need, see if there is a latent need, find out if the customer is having any security problems which can be addressed by our technology. Ultimately, it’s all about helping our channel partners grow their customer base.
How many partners do you have right now? Are you planning to expand this number? What are your plans for these tier three and four cities?
We have more than 30 partners who proactively invest and have been continuously doing our business. Apart from that we have a huge number of partners who are connected with us on an opportunity based engagement. On a proactive engagement we have very good set of partners and are very happy with our current set.
With regards to India, we have bought in a lot of new and sophisticated technology into India. One of the biggest problems with the channels today is that the channel partner goes to a customer and he sells and when the customer needs something else tomorrow, the customer may or may not come back to this channel partner. By selling our kind of technology which is quite sophisticated and cutting edge, what happens is that the stickiness of a customer to a channel partner increases.
By engaging with us and selling our technology, the stickiness that a partner can create with the customer turns out to be really high and over a period of time the customers’ loyalty to the partner increases. These technologies are pretty sophisticated and not all partners can deliver this. Only specialized partners can deliver this, so there is a great growth prospective.
Our distributor networks have a vast network in tier two and three cities. They have channel partners in all these cities. Through our distributors we are reaching out to these partners and we are seeing quite a significant amount of growth coming in from these cities as well. We are building a lot of awareness through our distributors and that awareness is helping us expand our business into these cities.
What is your message for aspiring channel partners? How do you ensure the profitability of partners?
Forcepoint brings unique technologies which will help the channel partners engage with a much larger base of customers than what they are currently engaging in a much more profitable way. Our technologies help create a lot of stickiness with customers; wherein they will also get to expand their business not only from Forcepoint perspective but from the share of wallet that the channel partner has with these customers.
We are very conscious about the fact that our channel partners have to be profitable and only if they are profitable, will they invest back into this technology. We want our channel partners to start investing in more people, more resources, more time into our technology and we can do that only by making sure that they are profitable and their business grows year after year experiencing significant growth. We make sure that the partners who invest in us are always profitable. It is a two way thing.