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Fortinet CEO, CFO Point to SMB Channel Partner Momentum; SASE for MSSPs

Keith Jensen, CFO, Fortinet

Ken Xie, CEO, Fortinet

Fortinet is gaining channel partner momentum in the SMB (small and midsize business) market, and the recent Opaq Networks acquisition represents a key SASE (secure access service edge) opportunity for MSSP partners. Those nuggets of information along with some SD-WAN momentum metrics surfaced during Fortinet’s Q3 2020 earnings call on October 29.

In the SASE market, Opaq’s multi-tenant platform allows managed security services providers (MSSPs), carriers and telecom companies to protect everything from data centers to branch offices, to remote users, and Internet of Things (IoT) devices, Fortinet asserts.

As a result, MSSPs and service providers are ideally positioned to leverage Opaq and Fortinet’s overall SASE solutions, CEO Ken Xie said during the earnings call. He also pointed to FortiGate as one of the best platforms for service providers, especially as those service providers extend out to support customer branches.

Fortinet’s commitment to MSSPs is well-documented. Indeed, service providers and MSSPs accounted for 16% of total billings during Fortinet’s Q3 of 2020, CFO Keith Jensen disclosed during the earnings call.

Fortinet SMB Channel Partner, SD-WAN Performance Updates

Other key takeaways from the Fortinet earnings call include:

  • Small Business Security: Fortinet saw “solid billing growth in the SMB.” In fact, “SMB posted strong growth across all geographies, illustrating the strength of our channel programs, the solid execution by our channel employees and partners, and the large diverse makeup of this multinational customer segment,” Jensen said.
  • Enterprise Contracts and SD-WAN Projects: Fortinet had 48 deals over $1 million in the third quarter, compared to 53 deals in the third quarter of 2019 and 30 deals in the third quarter of 2018. Secure SD-WAN accounted for seven of the deals over $1 million and while down from eight deals over $1 million a year ago, total SD-WAN billings more than doubled, and accounted for approximately 13% of total billings, Jensen noted.

Fortinet Overall Financial Performance

Fortinet’s overall revenue was $651.1 million in Q3 2020, up 18.9 percent from Q3 of 2019. Also, net income was $123.4 million in Q3 2020, up from $80.2 million in Q3 of 2019. The figures generally beat Wall Street’s expectations.

Summarizing the quarter, Jensen concluded: “The strong performance this quarter is the result of the diversification of our business and the strategic long-term investments we’ve made to expand our global sales force, to invest in our channel partners and to expand our product offerings and provide a truly integrated security platform enabling automation.”

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