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Fortinet Partner Best Practices - Solution and Service


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Fortinet Channel and Partner Enablement

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Fortinet Partner Best Practices - Solution and Service

  1. 1. 5800 Granite Parkway, Suite 460, Plano, TX 75024 Tel: 972.798.1288 Fax: 469.362.1179 | Page 1 of 2 Total Profit Solutions for IT Companies™ OML Trait: Solution and Service Offering Development Once Service Revenue reaches about 15% of a Solution Provider’s total Revenue, they have started to build one or more Service "factories", that is, service delivery processes which require investment at a minimum level to be able to commit to delivering that specific Professional or Managed Service at a reliable, repeatable, scalable level of quality and Gross Margin. Below this level of investment, they will not be able to respond in a timely fashion to Sales support requests and/or they will not be able to deliver the Service with acceptable promptness, quality and margin. Once Service becomes at least 40% of their Revenue, then consideration for financial health of their Service factories outweighs consideration for the amount of product they sell (although, it is important to note that product sales do not have to drop or stop growing). As a result, top-performing Solution Providers pay close attention to how new solutions and Services are planned for, both financially (volume and margin curves) and from the point of view of implementing high quality, scalable Sales support and solution/Service delivery. Top-performing Solution Providers’ Sales and Service teams are able to create and roll out new solutions and services with excellence. The Service team delivers from the start with high quality and Sales and Marketing delivers the necessary pace and volume of deals around the new solution and service for Service to rapidly drive down the cost of delivery. Indeed, this capability is a key competitive advantage in the eyes of their target customer segments but one that their team doesn't publicly discuss. The ability to effectively develop a new solution or service and bring it to operational maturity more quickly than the competition, is a best practice above and beyond any specific technical skills they may have. When a Solution Provider decides to add a Service – in this case a solution practice – it is essentially building a factory. The raw materials are the products the vendor provides and the labor of the engineers and technicians who execute the project. The machinery in the factory is the accumulated best practices, methodology, documentation and tools within the Solution Provider’s four walls.
  2. 2. | Page 2 of 2 To a large degree, the “manufacturing engineer” in the Solution Provider is the CEO. It is not the Service executive, although they are fully involved. It is not the Service executive because the factory cannot be successfully designed unless and until Marketing defines the product; in this case, the product of course being the vendor’s product plus the Solution Provider’s architecture, design and implementation services for that product. In most Solution Providers, this Marketing function is either performed by the CEO or Marketing reports to the CEO. Therefore, at least at a high level, the engineering of the factory for delivering a new solution falls to the CEO, who marshals the Marketing, Sales and Service executives together to come up with a reasonable plan including the following steps: • Step 1: Learning the basics of half of the raw materials (product technical and sales training and certification). • Step 2: Taking what has been learned from step 1, then building the first few prototypes to start understanding the other half of the raw materials (how much labor of what skills are needed). • Step 3: Taking what has been learned from step 2 and configuring the “factory floor” (what is the specific methodology – steps, tools, checklists, software, project plans, documentation, meeting agendas, etc. – that will be needed to reliably, repeatedly, deliver this product). • Step 4: Testing the factory that has been built with a pre-production run and then, • Step 5: Ramping into production. This is a reliable way to manage risk while implementing a new Service.