Michael Xie founder president and CTO of Fortinet

Michael Xie, founder, president and CTO of Fortinet

Fortinet Seeks to Expands Enterprise Security Channel Presence

Fortinet announced its investment in unified identity service provider Centrify this week, in addition to several new segmented online training courses meant to help partners understand the Fortinet portfolio and increase the company's sales force performance.

Network security provider Fortinet (FTNT) has doubled down on efforts to increase its presence in the enterprise security market, as the company announced a new investment and additional education programs for channel partners. Both announcements serve to increase Fortinet’s stake in the proliferation and education of security practices within the IT industry.

This week Fortinet became the latest investor in Centrify, a leading unified identity services provider known for its data protection solutions and single sign-on applications. As part of the investment, Fortinet and Centrify have initiated an alliance, which will allow both companies to utilize joint technologies for future growth.

“Given the dynamic IT threat landscape, Fortinet continues to focus on securing enterprise customers in multiple creative ways, and, consistent with that focus, we are proud to partner with Centrify,” said Michael Xie, founder, president and CTO of Fortinet, in a prepared statement. “Centrify has an innovative approach to enterprise identity management, and, as enterprise customers continue to migrate to cloud-based IT services and applications, the combination of our complementary platforms provides enterprise customers with a broad and powerful solution that is unique in the market today.”

Fortinet’s involvement represents a minority investment in Centrify’s Series E Preferred Stock round of financing, with the specific details of the investment and subsequent alliance remaining under wraps. The company had previously invested in similar security initiatives, most notably its investment and partnership with cloud security automation company HyTrust last year, according to the press release.

In an effort to give administrators a better understanding of network security, Fortinet also introduced new segmented online courses to help users implement, manage and operate the company’s suite of products within a network. The courses are available through Fortinet’s Learning center and help partners build in-depth expertise around all of its products, including FortiGate, FortiAnalyzer and FortiManager, among others. Fortinet said each course has been designed to accommodate self-paced instruction and will be offered free to all registered channel partners.

Among its online courses, Fortinet is making two new prep course available for its channel partners, called the Fortinet Certified Network Security Associate (FCNSA) and Fortinet Certified Network Security Professional (FCNSP) courses. Both consist of a number of online modules and proctored online lab exercises designed to prepare network admins to implement and manage Fortinet’s product portfolio and shore up their security measures against attacks from malicious software. The company said its new training programs, along with its existing exercises, will help educate channel partners and subsequently improve its internal sales team’s ability to deliver quality network security solutions and services to customers.

“These courses have proven to be very popular because they provide both theoretical and practical knowledge, as well as cover topics that Fortinet administrators and architects need to know,” said Matt Phillips, director of Training Services at Fortinet.

Previously, both the FCNSA and FCNSP courses were only offered in traditional classroom or live online formats, but have been redesigned to accommodate individual learners working at their own pace. Fortinet also offers additional instructor-led courses both online and in-person, with more details available on the company’s training website. Most recently, the company introduced its new FortiDDoS solution to prevent distributed denial of services (DDoS) attacks and released FortiOS 5.2 in April.

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