Renee Ritter is Vice President of Channel for Fortra. She’s a tireless advocate for the global partners who represent Fortra around the globe. Renee works to ensure this vital community has the resources required to help their customers achieve cybersecurity success using their Fortra solutions to the fullest. Last year, Renee and her team introduced a new partner program and led partners through the rebrand to Fortra. Here's her take on these achievements and a look at the strategic shifts that will be required for cybersecurity moving forward.
How did you approach the relaunch of the Fortra Channel Program in 2022, and how have partners responded?
In 2021, we realized our channel program wasn’t scaling effectively to support our growth as a company. We knew we needed to help our partners throughout the world better understand the full scope of everything Fortra has to offer.
Our charter was to communicate clearly with them about what they could expect from the updated program, and how it could make them successful. This centered around moving to a solution-selling approach that enabled partners to provide their customers with more value by solving problems holistically using fewer solutions from a single vendor.
We delivered on this goal. It’s something Fortra as a company can be very proud of as it reflects our deeply held values of problem-solving and collaboration. We always want to make sure our partners feel like we've got their back as they continue to represent Fortra in the market. The re-imagined partner program provides exciting new benefits, streamlined processes, and a platform for continuous growth and improvement. We’ve had extremely positive feedback on the new structure and learning opportunities.
What recognition has your Channel Program received?
For the second year running, the program has been awarded a 5 Star Rating by CRN – a prestigious award that recognizes channel programs that go above and beyond to support their partners’ efforts in every way. We’re pleased that our restructured program, focus on strong communication, and solution-training opportunities have been recognized as top-tier.
Last year also included a rebrand, what value does this add for partners?
Our relaunched partner program in concert with our rebranding sends a powerful message to our partners: We’ve done the hard work of aligning our strengths as an organization with what our customers need to succeed, and this gives partners a stronger line of defense in the market.
We’re clearly focusing on our role as a cybersecurity ally that can help security professionals simplify and strengthen the way they protect their operations and data. The pressure is enormous, and the stakes are high. We want to instill confidence in our partners that we’re here to support their efforts and help them understand not only the tough cybersecurity threats businesses are facing, but also how they can be solved in creative ways.
How can organizations recalibrate their approach to cybersecurity?
This is something I’ve talked a lot about based on the vision John Grancarich, our EVP of Strategy, has established. It’s an important way for companies to take a fresh look at how they tackle cybersecurity. So many people think in terms of solving a particular problem with a particular solution. Over time, the result is too many products and too many vendors.
It’s unnecessary complexity with a lot of administrative burden. There are often overlapping capabilities as well as systems that don’t talk to one another. Shifting to a platform approach as Fortra is doing means simplifying all of this complication and viewing the challenge of cybersecurity in a simplified way that’s more manageable long term. This is a new mindset for many, but one that’s critical to be able to tackle the fast-changing dynamics we all face.
What would you change about the cybersecurity industry?
There’s an overall lack of controls for offering context for cybersecurity investment requests. It’s important to draw a clear connection between the reality of the cyber-attacks happening every day and how such a threat could impact a particular business. Leadership teams need to understand exactly what is being asked for and why it matters. Risk-based contextualization of cyberattacks provides an understanding of what needs to be spent and where in order to adequately manage compliance and other financial risks.
Not asking “what if” is another problem spot. Organizations need to be willing to challenge the status quo relative to ineffective thinking like “hiring more people will solve our issues.” Long-term success will come as companies press toward real solutions like shifting from a product to platform mentality and embracing vendor consolidation. Likewise, many succumb to “the tyranny of the urgent” vs. doubling down organizationally on innovation and implementing the right processes to drive intelligent and proactive change. Once they’re able to think and act more strategically, they’ll have stronger and more sustainable methods of achieving profitability.
Hear from other senior leaders at Fortra.