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Fortinet is rolling out a three-tiered partner program to help link solution providers with vendors whose wares are impacting increasingly complex unified threat management systems.

The new effort, dubbed the Global Alliance Partner Program, will be announced on July 30 and already includes such infrastructure players as Unisys, Alcatel-Lucent, AMD, ArcSight and ProCurve by HP.

The goal, according to Fortinet officials in Sunnyvale, Calif., is to bring systems integrators, service providers and technology consultants together with major IT vendors in a program that provides UTM training and best practices as well as early access to new products, joint marketing and sales tools, and technical support.

Karl Soderlund, vice president of Americas sales and global alliances for Fortinet, said the partner program is especially important now as service providers work to secure diverse, ever-growing networks against an expanding number of threats targeting all manner of applications, users and next-generation networking technologies.

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“Solution providers need to provide a portfolio of security solutions to their end users, whether it be for outsourcing or resale,” Soderlund said. “Simply put, Fortinet is the best fit for partners that don’t want to, or do not have the bandwidth to, manage multiple vendor relationships.”

Fortinet’s new Global Alliance Partner Program includes levels of participation for Strategic Partners, Solution Partners and Technology Partners.

The top-tier Strategic Partner level serves high-level vendors and platform providers with gear that tightly integrates with Fortinet’s own. The top program level offers dedicated account representatives and customized go-to-market plans along with joint sales and marketing assistance. In addition, Fortinet will work directly with its Strategic Partners to craft customized customer engagements, officials said.

The Solution Partner level, meanwhile, is aimed at partners that specifically target value-add solutions incorporating Fortinet’s ASIC-accelerated FortiGate UTM appliances and FortiManager centralized management systems. Once they meet technical and “meet-in-the channel” sales requirements, Solution Partners gain access to joint sales and integration help as well as product integration verification, among other benefits.

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The Technology Partner level certifies IT vendors with products tested to complement and extend Fortinet’s UTM offerings. Solution providers can look to Fortinet’s Technology Partners for joint customer engagements with vendors committed to compatibility and channel-focused sales efforts, Fortinet officials said.

Paul Congdon, chief technology officer for HP’s ProCurve Networking and an HP Fellow, said the company was among the first top-tier members of Fortinet’s partner program because it offers a way to build on ProCurve’s ProActive Defense strategy by linking FortiGate products with HP’s Network Immunity Manager, for example.

According to Soderlund, bringing together all of the parties involved in a comprehensive threat management system, especially the service providers, is a natural extension of Fortinet’s efforts to deliver all things UTM.

“Our ability to offer so many rich security features in one system, as well as our key partnerships with strategic partners such as ProCurve by HP and Unisys, drives service and solution provider confidence in Fortinet,” he said.