ICM Cyber, Forcepoint Channel Partnership is Built on Trust and Meeting Customer Needs
One of Forcepoint’s most successful partners, ICM Cyber delivers cybersecurity solutions tailored to its customers’ long-term business objectives
As a key member of Forcepoint’s Strategic National Team of channel partners in the United States, ICM Cyber is one of the country’s most accomplished ASP-certified, enterprisefocused cybersecurity consultants. Working closely with Forcepoint, ICM Cyber helps craft security solutions that apply the best technologies available for safeguarding people, data, and systems to meet the organizational needs of customers in multiple industries and verticals.
Founded just weeks before the September 11, 2001 attacks, ICM Cyber entered a market that was incredibly challenging from day one. But ICM’s small team of tech professionals became a soughtafter consultant for securing the IT assets of enterprises and large organizations in both the private and public sectors.
ICM Cyber partners with Forcepoint to deliver consulting and support services by performing security posture assessments of customers’ networks, hosts, and applications and then recommending and implementing solutions based on those findings. Headquartered in Jackson, Miss., the company serves more than 500 customers in verticals ranging from health care, retail, and finance to government and education.
Growing together and going to market together with Forcepoint
It’s been an enormously fruitful partnership for ICM, Forcepoint, and their shared customers. Over the years, ICM Cyber has transitioned from being a local partner; to being a top regional partner for the Southeast; and now to being a key member of Forcepoint’s Strategic National Team of channel partners in the United States.
ICM Cyber has been instrumental in both beta testing new Forcepoint technologies and being an early provider of new Forcepoint products that help customers better safeguard their people, data, and systems. For example, ICM Cyber was the first partner to go to market with Forcepoint offering Insider Threat (IT), which protects against data exfiltration by providing a complete view of privileged users who interact with intellectual property (IP) and sensitive systems, and an archive of their actions through metadata, keystrokes, forensics, and video.
More recently, ICM Cyber engineers worked alongside their Forcepoint counterparts in beta testing Dynamic Edge Protection (DEP), the converged web, network, and connectivity solution-as-a-service which is a key pillar of Forcepoint’s next-generation converged security platform. By working together, Forcepoint and ICM Cyber can provide customers with tested, cutting-edge security solutions that give them an edge on the competition.
Developing innovative solutions together to meet real-world customer needs
ICM Cyber’s role in helping Forcepoint develop and test DEP evolved organically from work the company was doing with customers like Genuine Parts Company, the Atlanta-based auto parts giant which owns the Napa Auto Parts brand, explained Mark Mahovlich, ICM Cyber Vice President of Strategy and Execution.
“As we delivered cloud-based Web Security to Genuine Parts, we helped them look at use cases related to what they were trying to do over the next five years,” Mahovlich said. “And it became very apparent that they needed a solution that would help address their thousands of store locations and help them better manage their security perimeters.”
“We had been working side-by-side with Forcepoint’s sales team on this account for probably a year-and-a-half. And the breakthrough happened when we collectively started to pursue this idea that we needed to virtualize their perimeter and give them a better way to handle their firewalls.”
“Out of those conversations, involving all three parties—Forcepoint, ICM, and Genuine Parts—the decision to test DEP as a possible solution emerged”, Mahovlich said.
“The idea behind evaluating DEP at Genuine Parts originated at Forcepoint. The role we played at ICM Cyber was an advisory one, but we also had the capability to do some robust testing of DEP’s components, and we worked very closely with Forcepoint’s product management team,” he said.
Strategizing together pays off in successful execution
Supporting Forcepoint on technology development is just one half of ICM’s relationship with its partner, according to Mahovlich.
“We work with Forcepoint on product development to make sure solutions can be packaged correctly and executed properly for our customers. Getting the technology right is obviously very important. But equally important is partnering on a business strategy to determine how to position these products in the market, how to offer them, how to price them, and how to deliver services with them,” he said.
“Our shared goal is to bring Forcepoint products and solutions to customers in ways that we can execute successfully as a Forcepoint partner and that will help those customers accomplish their overall, long-term business goals in addition to meeting their immediate cybersecurity needs.”
Top-tier Forcepoint partners like ICM Cyber work closely with Forcepoint in everything from quarterly business strategy meetings at the executive level; to developing joint customer approaches for Forcepoint solutions in working groups that might meet weekly or even daily.
And that focus on partnership has paid off: ICM Cyber was Forcepoint’s 2017 North American partner of the year. The company has quadrupled the annual revenue it generates for Forcepoint in the past decade while frequently ranking as both North America’s No. 1 growth partner and No.1 customer retention partner. ICM Cyber’s ability to team up with Forcepoint for the entirety of the sales cycle with customers has earned ICM Cyber the highest level of access to Forcepoint technology partner resources like joint marketing funds and lead generation resources.
“Our shared goal is to bring Forcepoint products and solutions to customers in ways that we can execute successfully.”
A partnership built on trust and shared values with a focus on customer needs
More than just partner program benefits is the trust in each other that ICM Cyber and Forcepoint have developed over the years, Mahovlich said.
“I think in a really strong, symbiotic partnership like the one we have with Forcepoint, you have enough trust in each other and you value each other enough that you can talk openly about what's working and what’s not working as new products or even new product strategies roll out,” he said.
“It's very important to us to be able to sit down and say, ‘Listen, you're rolling out Dynamic Data Protection. What can you tell us about what that means in the marketplace? What can we tell you about what we’re hearing from our customers?’ We can give Forcepoint the clear, honest feedback we hear from our prospects and our clients about their needs and wants. We want a partner who listens to that and adapts, because that helps us better execute solutions and better meet customer needs.”