Palo Alto Networks pushes partner training, certification to accommodate expanded product portfolio

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Palo Alto Networks pushes partner training, certification to accommodate expanded product portfolio

Palo Alto Networks is making a renewed push for partners to undergo training and get certified to be familiar with its newest offerings.

Known in the IT industry for specialising in firewall products, Palo Alto has since expanded into endpoint security extended detection and response (XDR), security operations centre (SOC) automation and cloud security.

Palo Alto Networks ANZ channels and alliances director Bryan Stibbard told CRN that the company’s newly-diversified portfolio would bring in both larger system integrators and more niche partners specialising in those specific areas.

“We required our partner program to adjust so that niche partners can continue to be highly profitable with us and continue to expand their services portfolio, but also allow for investment from some of our larger partners who are really going to help transition customers down that path as well,” Stibbard said.

“It’s a large year of change for us. Our strategy is for us to continue to encourage our partners to go in and get trained and certified.”

Palo Alto has started offering free training for partners through distributors Arrow Electronics and Westcon-Comstor in the past two months to allow partners to invest in the time to train and get themselves ready for 2021.

Stibbard said Palo Alto has worked closely with its partners over the last 12 months to help them pivot and change their approach as customers change the way they consume technology amid the COVID-19 pandemic, while also creating a strong platform into 2021.

“If you look at last year, the idea of hybrid working models, working from home, working remotely — that really came to fall very quickly for our clients and our partners needed to respond quickly,” he said.

“And certainly I think that in 2021, that remote working and hybrid working is going to continue to remain, and it does stretch IT teams and companies in terms of trying to balance risk and performance.”

Stibbard added that Palo Alto’s offerings helped allow remote workers to transform quickly from on-prem environments out to remote working, where they've had scenarios such as having home computers moved to a corporate network in terms of the breadth and the way it’s moved.

“We’ve seen our partner community respond really well in that space,” he said.

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