Fortinet eyes local growth as new MD digs in the spurs

Just months into the job, the new local head of security appliance vendor Fortinet is turning to a slew of new hires and partner incentives in an effort to kick-start the company's business across Australia and New Zealand.

The company's local sales had fallen short compared with those in other geographies, new regional director for ANZ Jon McGettigan told CSO Australia, and the challenge of closing that gap was driving his decision to quickly add 12 new staff.

“We've had a lull in the previous four years that has affected our performance,” he admitted. “We're in a market leadership position globally but not within Australia, so we need to talk about the strength we have on a global level and realign the Australian market with what we're doing globally.”

Signs are that the market will be receptive to Fortinet innovation: recent market figures suggested that Australian purchases of security appliances, the company's core market, were set to grow at twice the global average in coming years.

Growth across the Asia-Pacific region is twice even that of the Australian market, but even if it doesn't reach those lofty heights McGettigan believes the revamped Fortinet team will be in an excellent position to tighten relationships with customers and channel partners.

“I've quickly come in and restructured the whole team,” he said, noting that he expects to add another 8 staff by year's end to bring Fortinet's local headcount to 54.

“We've created a very strong management team that is very customer-centric, and everything we do is now based on that customer-centric organisation.”

McGettigan flagged the move to cloud computing as a key driver for future growth, with customers hungry for easy, powerful and flexible security solutions as they push hard to capitalise upon evolving cloud-based computing environments.

New capabilities were allowing customers to scale security and embrace technologies such as threat intelligence, with service providers a particular market for Fortinet as they climbed the value chain and increasingly offered managed service capabilities to the market.

The technologies were proving particularly appealing, McGettigan said, to small companies that normally wouldn't have the headcount and budget resources to consider such technologies.

“You don't have small and medium-sized companies with security teams,” he said. “If they can rely on a trusted service provider to provide that ready layer, it becomes a very attractive offering – and, for the provider, a customer-sticky offering as well. It's hard to remove security from an organisation when it's offered as a service.”

This article is brought to you by Enex TestLab, content directors for CSO Australia.

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Tags Australiacloud computingNew ZealandFortinetAsia-PacificSecurity Appliancesecurity updateCSO AustraliaJon McGettigan

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