Fortinet CEO, CFO Point to MSSP, Secure SD-WAN Channel Momentum

Fortinet continues to gain momentum with MSSPs, and the company's secure SD-WAN solutions are catching on with channel partners, CEO Ken Xie and CFO Keith Jensen told Wall Street analysts during Fortinet's quarterly earnings call on Thursday, February 6.

Keith Jensen, CFO, Fortinet
Fortinet CFO Keith Jensen
Ken Xie, CEO, Fortinet

Among the key sound bites: Service providers and MSSPs generated 18 percent of total billings for Q4 2019, Jensen indicated.

Looking ahead, it's a safe bet the company will position at least two recent acquisitions -- CyberSponse and enSilo -- for the MSSP community.

Meanwhile, SD-WAN momentum helped to fuel some of Fortinet's largest deals in Q4 2019. Among the anecdotes Xie and Jenson shared:

  • more than 21,000 companies now leverage Fortinet’s Secure SD-WAN solution;
  • 70% of the company's top-tier service providers offer the SD-WAN solution.
  • Deals worth over $1 million increased 36 percent to 64 deals. Secure SD-WAN was a leading contributor to that surge -- accounting for 10 deals of those $1 million-plus deals in the quarter, up from four deals last year.
  • New logos continue to account for approximately 50% of secure SD-WAN billings.

Fortinet's Next SD-WAN Moves, Potential Rivals

Looking ahead, Fortinet wants to work even more closely with service providers and channel partners on the SD-WAN opportunity, Xie said. The latest opportunities include a new a cloud connectivity relationship with Equinix, and  a new SD-WAN appliance for SMB customers.

Amid the SD-WAN market's strong growth, multiple MSSP- and MSP-friendly technology companies now focus on the sector.

For instance, MSPs now operate roughly 50 percent of Netsurion's SD-WAN edge devices, according to a mid-2019 report. Moreover, more than 500 MSPs now leverage Netsurion's technology for Security Operations Center (SOC) as a Service capabilities.

Fortinet's Financial Results

Fortinet's revenue was $614.5 million in Q4 2019, up 21 percent compared to Q4 2018. Also, net income was  $115.2 million, down from $182.6 million in the corresponding quarter the year earlier. The financial results largely beat Wall Street's expectations.

Fortinet may provide more technology updates late this month during RSA Conference 2020 in San Francisco. Also, the Fortinet Accelerate 2020 conference is scheduled for November 7-12 in Silicon Valley.

Joe Panettieri

Joe Panettieri is co-founder & editorial director of MSSP Alert and ChannelE2E, the two leading news & analysis sites for managed service providers in the cybersecurity market.