Forcepoint claims that a potential deal for Broadcom to acquire security rival Symantec would "create opportunities at lots of levels", according to the firm's EMEA and UK&I channel bosses.
Speculation about Broadcom's potential takeover of Symantec have been swirling around the industry since the start of July, with Broadcom valuing it at a reported $17.5bn.
The semiconductor vendor has a reputation for stripping assets from its acquired businesses. Broadcom has reportedly made a raft of staff cuts at CA Technologies after acquiring the business in 2018.
When CPI asked Forcepoint's UK&I channel boss Matt Bruun for his thoughts on the possible merger, he said it's "an interesting time to be a Symantec partner".
"I think it's probably well understood in the market what Broadcom do when they acquire, so that is inevitably going to result in disruption for their customers, for their employees, and for their partners," Bruun said.
"We're keeping a very close eye on what's going on. Definitely, that creates opportunities for us at lots of levels."
Forcepoint's new EMEA boss, Ben Richardson, is meanwhile two months into the job. He joined from Informatica, the enterprise cloud data management firm.
He said he's looking to change how customers view securing their data, claiming that he's looking to move Forcepoint away from a "network-centric approach".
"I think a trillion dollars has been spent on cybersecurity over the last seven years. Yet 95 per cent of attacks are successful. So effectively, the security industry is not doing a great job," he said.
"We're moving away from network-centric security; it's about moving away from building barriers, building moats, and walls.
"It's more about looking at users and data, understanding how we can change the posture and policies on an individual basis."
The trouble with security
Richardson is also keen for partners to make more of the opportunity presented by customers moving to the cloud.
"The trouble with security is that it sits around risk mitigation. No-one likes signing cheques to insurance companies, or paying for things that might happen," he said.
Richardson gave a case study example of one of Forcepoint's UK partners approaching Metro Bank last year.
"They were looking at fraudulent account access and this bank had to refund customer's money…The response was put in within three weeks, so really quick to deploy. And then the ROI was within four months. It was compelling and things like that are just so valuable and what customers and partners can get on board with," he said.
Be more candid about what you make of vendors
So what opportunities are partners not taking full advantage of to win customers?
For Forcepoint's Bruun, it's the confidence to be more candid on what they think of their vendors.
"I sometimes wonder whether partners having a bit more confidence about taking a point of view on vendors is an opportunity for them to differentiate themselves," he said.
"With the proliferation of single point products and single product vendors, having the confidence and the competence to have a point of view is what I think a lot of customers really want. And I think that will ultimately lead to partners being able to sell more, become more profitable, and be more like trusted advisers to those customers."
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