Even security can be virtualized

What is your opinion about the impact of slowdown on Indian business?
I think that 65% of the slowdown in India is hyped and we will find ways to
make our economy stronger if we stop discussing it. The slowdown has more to do
with liquidity crunch. Last year, while we were growing at 60%, people were
talking about registering single digit growth. Fortinet had a record in its
history, in the last quarter, and in India we registered 30% growth for the same
period. Right now, services and ITeS verticals have taken a hit, but it gives
new opportunities for companies like us because security is bound to grow.

Vishak Raman, regional director, India and SAARC

What kind of support will you extend to your customers?
We are aware that our partners are going through a credit crisis right now.
So Fortinet needs to extend credit support to our partners through our
distributors. If a customer does not pay the channel, then vendors and
distributors need to stand behind the channel. We should extend our support by
deactivating the service to him and stop our anti-virus and security feeds. The
distributors too need to co-operate.

What else are you doing to help your partners?
We are insisting on enforcing strict channel discipline. For instance, there
need to be case locking by channel partners, which will be non-negotiable. But
there has to be a qualification standard for the same so that this service is
used effectively. Those policies have to be made crystal clear. We tend to
dilute these policies during good times. This is the time when vendors need to
be more strict about it.

Fortinet has always been referred to as a unified threat management (UTM)
company. Will this continue to be a thrust area for you this year?
Yes, Fortinet has been known for its UTM solutions, but we are a lot more
than just that. We are a complete security solution provider for enterprise and
SMB customers. This year, since companies are looking at consolidation of their
IT infrastructure and lowering costs, we will become aggressive about our
concept of virtualization in security.

Already, we have deployed some projects on this technology in some verticals
like airlines and banks. After succeeding in this, we are gearing our partners
towards offering this technology to their entire set of existing clients. So
far, people think that virtualization is limited to networking, desktops and
servers. When we tell them that even security can be virtualized, our partners
and customers alike find it very hard to believe. Now that we have a couple of
successful projects around virtualized security under our belt, we are ready to
go out in the market and evangelize this concept.

Vinita Bhatia/DQ Channels

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