Fortinet, a global leader in cyber security solutions, recently announced that it is expanding its India operations to further drive the growth of the network security market and strengthen its position in enterprise/infrastructure Wi-Fi solutions. Patrice Perche, senior executive vice president, worldwide sales and support at Fortinet, spoke to Forbes India about the company’s ambitious plan. Edited excerpts:
Q. Tell us about your R&D centre in Bengaluru?
The Fortinet Innovation Centre in Bengaluru is the company’s largest R&D facility outside North America. Its R&D team has influenced Wi-Fi standards, obtained multiple patents and conducted pivotal engineering work to develop Fortinet’s enterprise/infrastructure Wi-Fi solutions. The team at the Fortinet Innovation Centre will develop state-of-the-art algorithms that secure large enterprise networks running mobile and Internet of Things (IoT) devices, and location-based services. We believe that IoT is a big opportunity.
This year alone, Gartner forecasts that 6.4 billion connected things will be in use worldwide, up by 30 percent from 2015. The figure will hit 20.8 billion by 2020. While a majority of businesses is already leveraging the advantages of connected IoT devices, 92 percent of security professionals are concerned about the security challenges posed by these billions of devices.
Fortinet’s Security Fabric lets enterprises deploy security strategies that are integrated from mobile devices to the infrastructure core to cloud networks, and enjoy comprehensive threat protection across the expanding attack surface.
The Wi-Fi research facility adds to the vendor’s Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) R&D team in Hyderabad, which builds the hardware logic for its DDoS attack mitigation appliances.
New Fortinet research identifies cloud and vulnerability in IT systems as the two greatest concerns for IT decision-makers. Our survey in India shows that 59 percent of Indian respondents have experienced at least one security breach in the past 12 months. Our research shows that within three to five years, 38 percent of APAC organisations and 43 percent of organisations in India will be addressing their cyber security priorities through outsourcing.
Q. What are Fortinet’s plans for India?
Fortinet has specific solutions for BFSI, retail, health care, education, government and service providers and our strategy is to increase our market share in every vertical. We will be hiring domain specialists for every vertical to share expertise with customers to help them deploy the right Fortinet solutions that will best fit their business needs.
Proof-of-Concept centres at Bengaluru, Chennai, Mumbai and Delhi will showcase our technologies for customers to evaluate the performance of our solutions in real-world environments. These centres will also provide advanced training to customers. We have plans to expand our Technical Assistance Team (TAC) in India which provides support along with overseeing professional services to ensure expert and timely deployment of projects. Shortly after expansion, the India team will start servicing customers in other countries.
Q. How do you see the market growth in India?
The Indian network security market is growing at a CAGR of 15 percent, according to Frost & Sullivan. The overall Network Security Market in India for 2016 is estimated at US$320 million and is expected to grow to US$ 490 million by 2020. Fortinet agrees with Frost & Sullivan’s assessment of growth. This growth will be the result of several developments in the country, including the greater use of IT in e-governance, implementation of Digital India programmes, and development of smart cities. All these initiatives are being implemented very quickly.
Q. How do you compare it to other parts of Asia?
India is one of Fortinet’s most important emerging markets and we expect growth here to be robust, compared to some more developed countries that may be impacted by the slowing global economy. We have been posting strong double-digit growth for many quarters in India, and continue to be optimistic this year.
Q. Do you plan to hire more people in India?
Fortinet is continuing to make heavy investments into the Indian market. We have plans to expand our wireless R&D operations by adding more researchers to develop networking solutions. The Technical Assistance Centre in Bengaluru will soon provide customer support services to other countries with the induction of more support engineers. We will also continue to add sales people to our existing team of about 250 employees in India.
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