ForeScout in 'Hyper-Growth' Phase, Channel Chief Excited About IoT

Todd DeBell previously was FireMon’s vice president of worldwide channel sales and distribution.

Edward Gately, Senior News Editor

July 27, 2016

6 Min Read

18ef6cd47c1f48ada3debd9091243833.jpgNetwork security firm ForeScout Technologies has a new global channel chief with a mission to expand into new and emerging markets.

Last week, Todd DeBell started his new job as the company’s new vice president of worldwide channel sales. He previously was FireMon’s VP of worldwide channel sales and distribution. He also held sales leadership roles with Motorola Solutions, Arrow Electronics and GE Access, which was acquired by Avnet.

3d9a034d18b8403f8da1874c6a9f9873.jpgWith ForeScout, he will be responsible for the channel sales and distribution strategy with a focus on accelerating the company’s channel program to address growing demand for the company’s products.

With more than 2,000 customers in more than 60 countries, ForeScout offers the ability to see devices when they connect to the network, control them and orchestrate information sharing and operation among disparate security tools.

In a Q&A with Channel Partners, DeBell talks about the job ahead, why partners should be excited and what’s likely to change in the coming months.

Channel Partners: Why did you want to join ForeScout and how is this position different than your role with FireMon?

Todd DeBell: I see a big opportunity in the Internet of Things (IoT) space with the amount of devices that are coming online and the amount of devices that are projected to be online. The partners are buzzing about the space and are excited about [it]. And doing some research on ForeScout and knowing some of the people here, I was really excited to join the team and to work with these partners again.

CP: What are your thoughts on ForeScout’s current channel program? Are changes in order?

TD: Any time you come into a situation like this, there [are] really a couple of things that you’ve got to look at: what’s good and what you can upgrade or tune up to the next level. I’m still at that evaluation stage … from a margin perspective of trying to help partners become more invested and more excited about our program versus the many other programs that are out there. I think the technology differentiates itself, so that’s a big help. But it’s making sure that services, products, the channel program, everything across the board, is top-notch and something that they’re going to want to invest in and be excited about. So I’m looking at everything and considering everything. We already have a pretty robust services-delivery and professional-services model for partners and (I’m) looking to expand that and get the partners more engaged in that program across the board.

CP: What are the biggest issues now facing ForeScout and what is your role in addressing them?

TD: We’re in a hyper-growth phase and I think getting ForeScout in front of new end users and expanding our footprint through the partner relationships is going to be a significant part of my role and my team’s role. And I think that’s going to be something that we need to really focus and spend time on, leverage every resource on the channel side internally and externally that we can to grow our business and take us through this period of hyper growth.

CP: What are your plans for gaining feedback from partners? What do you most want them to know about you?

TD: So the beautiful thing is a lot of the partners that I worked with in my past are current partners, so there’s a lot of crossover. So whether it was the position I was in at FireMon or GE, or down the line, I’ve worked with a lot of these partners for a number of years. So the really good thing for me is it’s kind of going back to some of the folks I’ve worked with, and bringing something new and something exciting to them. So a lot of them have reached out, I’ve met some new ones and we’re starting to talk to the teams overseas and such. But the biggest thing I’m hearing is they’re excited I’m here, they’re really excited about the technology and they’re excited about growing the business with ForeScout.

As far as what to know about me, I’ve been very channel-friendly and I have a lot of sales experience. I’ve worked with a lot of these entrepreneurs for a number of years, so I know what’s important for them to make an investment in their business and move forward with a company like ForeScout, and want to be on the leading edge.

CP: How do you plan to address the growing demand for IoT security?

TD: The IoT space is growing dramatically. You can’t go into a hospital without a wireless device, you can’t go into a financial institution without a wireless device … there [are] so many new things that are connected via the network that ForeScout can discover and help clients with. The total addressable market there is significant.

From a partner standpoint and an investment standpoint, there [are] a couple of things to consider. First, we have a lot of the alliance partners that they already deal with, so we’re very close. We’re working closely with products that they already are securing and helping those products be even better in conjunction with what they’ve already got from an installed base, as well as they’re walking into an opportunity from a professional-services standpoint that they can go support their end-user customer with getting ahead of some of these breaches, and connecting and locking down these devices that they don’t even know about.

CP: What do you plan to accomplish in your first year? Will ForeScout’s channel strategy and program look much different than they do today?

TD: The first 365 days, you’re going to see a few things. First, narrowing the scope and putting a little better definition around the program itself; what does it mean to be invested and to be a ForeScout partner, and more to the benefits and understanding those very clearly. Also, working with the partners to make them more a part of our professional services and delivery arm from a products standpoint. So getting them more enabled and engaged. And I think just in general, getting our go-to partners, figuring out who our focus partners are and getting to the point where we have a defined list of partners that we work with and everyone knows who those are, and we’re really working to help those folks grow their businesses.

CP: Do you have a tough job ahead of you?

TD: I think they’re positioned well. The story and the market [are] ready. ForeScout’s done everything possible to get us ready for that. So it’s encouraging the channel partners to make the investments. I think it’s sitting down with them, demonstrating the value of the product and demonstrating the value of the overall program, and making sure that they feel comfortable with us.

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About the Author(s)

Edward Gately

Senior News Editor, Channel Futures

As news editor, Edward Gately covers cybersecurity, new channel programs and program changes, M&A and other IT channel trends. Prior to Informa, he spent 26 years as a newspaper journalist in Texas, Louisiana and Arizona.

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