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‘7 Minutes’ With Forcepoint VP of Global Channel Sales Tom Flink

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**Editor’s Note: “7 Minutes” is a feature where we ask channel executives from startups – or companies that may be new to the Channel Partners audience – a series of quick questions about their businesses and channel programs.**

Since its inception in January 2016 through the integration of Websense, Raytheon Cyber Products and Stonesoft, Forcepoint has made a number of executive appointments and acquisitions. In February the company purchased Skyfence from Imperva for cloud security and DLP and established four market-centric business units: cloud security, network security, data & insider threat security and global governments. In June, it aced NSS Labs’ next-gen firewall testing, and August it purchased Red Owl, which offers user and entity behavior analytics, or UEBA, technology. Translation: Why do people do what they do?

Flink joined the Austin-based company in September.

Channel Partners: Tell us what customers love about your product or service. What’s the secret selling sauce?

Forcepoint's Tom Flink

Forcepoint’s Tom Flink

Tom Flink: Our secret selling sauce is really our take on protecting the human point — the intersection of users, data and networks — and human-centric security solutions. We’re the only vendor bringing together a range of cybersecurity capabilities and products such as DLP, UEBA, CASB, Web/email and Insider Threat that understand user behavior and access of data and systems. Forcepoint’s people-first approach to security helps partners offer a differentiated and high-growth security product line, even in a partner’s extensive technology portfolio.

CP: Describe your channel program — metal levels, heavy on certifications, open or selective, unique features?

TF: Our channel program includes Platinum, Gold, Silver and Associate levels of partnership that offer certification and rebate opportunities. Our channel program is very balanced and recognizes the need for human-centric security products.  Partners can offer customers a highly  intelligent “Human Point” system of security capabilities that work together, such as advanced malware detection for email, web and CASB, or modular products such as DLP that can be deployed alongside existing investments.

We’re really seeking to deliver joint value to customers and partners alike through innovation, enablement and profitability.

CP: Quick-hit answers: Percentage of sales through the channel, number of partners, average margin. Go.

TF: More than 90 percent of sales go through the channel, serving markets from SMB to enterprise to global governments. We have about 2,500 dedicated partners worldwide.

CP: Who are your main competitors, and what makes your offering better?

TF: We’re doing something really differentiated in the way we’re going about security – not only the way we think about security, but how we’re building intelligent solutions. There’s no one on the horizon that is approaching security the way that we are. At the same time, there are point product vendors that compete with one or more of our capabilities, but nobody is bringing it all together as an intelligent, human-centric system. We’re leading in many analyst and industry categories and knocking on doors of players you’d expect like Symantec, Cisco, Palo Alto Networks and others.

CP: How do you think your technology portfolio will change in the next three years?

TF: We have a clear vision of where we’d like to go, and we work strategically with…

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