Internet has become crucial these days and it has touched every aspect of human life. With the increased use of the internet by people, protecting sensitive information has become something which must be taken into consideration, quite seriously. Cybersecurity has in fact become a necessity.
We introduce you to nForce Secure, a Thai value-added specialty distributor of IT Security, Information Management and Network Solutions. The firm originated in 2005 has more than 10 years of channel and distribution experience with sales resources in Thailand.
Let’s start with the quote given by Mark Nakrop Niamnamtham, Founder and CEO of nForce Secure Co., Ltd.
“We take pride in being the gateway of security product distribution to Thai market, pipelining trust and success with vendors and partners through value-added services and channel empowerment.”
Interview with Mark Nakrop Niamnamtham, Founder and CEO.Explicate about the firm’s history and transformation.
Fourteen years ago, around 2004, while overseeing regional sales operations at a vendor company and frequenting all the major IT security exhibitions and conferences, I always got hit with this number one top-chart request from partners and vendors in industry: “I seriously want to go into Thai market. Where can I find a local distributor who really digs security?”
They all stressed ‘local’. They wanted to make sure they got someone that knew the terrain well and really could push through. They understood that countries in this SEA region had their own quirks of doing businesses. The picture of a regional office directing the moves from far away just didn’t cut it.
This went on to the point that got me curious enough. Then I did some serious research and found out that none of those in the IT securities domain was effectively run by Thais. Why so? I soon discovered that there were failed attempts earlier by other Thai distributors. People didn’t grasp what distribution model was. They didn’t know how to do the ‘channel’ work with partners. They all got mixed up and sold directly to end customers.
How frequently does your firm assess its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats to understand the present business climate?
IT field, especially cyber security, is forever changing and disrupting. We must stay ahead of the game. Our key strength is people – our team adapt well to technologies and trends. Many have been systematically groomed through the Young Talent Program. Next is, we have a strong vast business network where partners and end-users feel safe to fall back to. They know they are buying trust and integrity. Plus, our innovative mind is developing applications and tools on top of the products and services that we have delivered to our customers.
But, looking at the bigger picture, shortage of cybersecurity professionals is a major concern for Thailand. It could be called a weakness in a sense. We just have to work harder in securing the right people for the company.Opportunity-wise, we ride along the market growth of Thai cybersecurity at 10-12% per year where nForce is maintaining its momentum at 15%. The looming transformation from on-premise infra to cloud-based will spur a growth also. IT security needs to be there.
Threat, or challenge, is that vendors might consider moving into the B2C model – think Microsoft365. nForce must be ready to provide services, instead of products, to the businesses as well.
How well organized is your firm from an operational standpoint?
Forget “well-run” or “well-managed” for a moment. “Adapting fast” and “Self-calibrated” are more like it. IT scenes are so dynamic these days. Our nForceOne program inspires and encourages the move and the rotation between sales, engineering and marketing teams. People fine-tune themselves into the right spots, forming best lines of support, not an archaic chain of command.
What are your firm’s products and services?
nForce Secure is a value-added specialty distributor of IT Security, Information Management and Network Solutions.
The company offers a diverse portfolio of security technologies through its resellers, delivering advanced software and hardware products for cloud and data center security, network security, advanced threat detection, data security, legacy modernization, data analytics and conversion of big data into security intelligence.
How well does your firm analyze the competition in terms of product capabilities?
Now in the age of technology disruption, it’s even more important that you stay dynamic. Move fast and adapt quick. Quick in welcoming the ever-changing needs of customers. We cannot rely on only one or two products and hope to compete in the game and serve customers well. It’s not possible. Hence keen insights in crafting product portfolios that pack the most punches are what reallyneeded. And nForce has that.
We don’t need to carry around a barrage of hardware or software solutions. We have quite a few good things put together, of course with a razor-sharp focus on IT securities, to solve customer problems.
How does your company utilize employees to stay competitive, and strategically meet the goals?
I knew right away this was a challenging opportunity. For the plan to work, we needed to build up our own technical expertise so that we could compete with those regional office-backed companies that could fly in foreign engineers from abroad any time. We had to have to our home-grown SEAL team to deliver top-notch service support to customers as this was the only way we could grow. So, with my technical background, I heavily spent time on recruiting and building our engineering team.
Remember that IT security is a unique business – clients would need your consistent care over the use of the products. It’s not a one-time thing. Networking changes less frequent; You could probably set-and-forget. But securities need fine-tuning as IT policies tend to evolve over time. Frauds, hacks and breaches come in many forms and shapes. We must be proactive with customers – excellence in tech support shall lead the way.
Our ‘nForce Got Talent’ program was born out of that also. We formed ties with top universities, sought out talents and groomed them into full-fledged IT securities professionals. This has been running successfully for eight to nine years now.
All the hard work of building up people paid off eventually. Our engineering team won so many excellence awards over the years. Trust grew.
Can you share with us any case studies that prove your company’s efficiency?
nForce Secure’s engagement with a financial institution provides a better insight into the expertise the company delivers to its client base. nForce Secure assisted the financial institution when their application development and network teams had issues pertaining to certain applications that were slow and were significantly affecting the end users. The diagnosis was difficult for the client without the ability to do user profiling and to know who was doing what on the application systems, from where, and for how long. nForce Secure provided a suite of monitoring and quickly identified the bottleneck in the network and internal DDoS. The firm installed the privilege management system for the client, which helped them gain visibility into ‘who was doing what’, enabling them to issue appropriate policies. “This is what I call the role of a value-added distributor. We made the root causes clear and helped the customer obtain the results they were looking for.”
How effective is your organization’s delivery model?
nForce Secure collaborates with partners and channels for everything right from design, proof of concept, to sales and marketing. The firm also works closely with principals and product owners, providing them with top-notch IT security solutions with an assured 24×7 technical support. Additionally, its one-of-a-kind training center that equips the partners and customers with intense hands-on learning and troubleshooting is one of the various capabilities that have earned nForce Secure continuous success for 14 years.
Does your product offering encourage innovation for the customer through versatility, usability, and efficiency?
We are quite innovative with products and services delivery. Numerous awards and market recognition speak volumes of the quality we deliver.
How frequently does your organization deliver new value-adding ideas to your customers to keep them engaged?
We always want to demolish the perception of cybersecurity being hard to grasp. nForce simplifies the concepts and practices so that our channels and customers get it right. Our bite-size videos, articles, live podcasting, tech updates, real-life use cases, and expert interviews are well received. They become engaged once they understand what they have to go through. We shoot for simplicity with least jargons. Partners and decision makers at customer companies find it effective.
How loyal is your customer base? How are you improving it?
The company has an impressive track record of equipping large organizations, multi-national corporations, government offices, and agencies with the right security policies. Considering the fact that IT security is approached from multiple angles such as networks, systems, applications, cloud, data center, and data loss prevention, the firm ensures customized implementations for clients.
What is your company’s vision and how effective is it?
The company has made many such sincere efforts to address the challenges faced by its clientele over the years. nForce Secure is now shifting its focus from security as products to security as a service model. It also plans to release internally developed tools that would integrate functionalities of different vital products to elevate the benefits and values of those products to the next level. A major part of the company’s roadmap constitutes its vision of bringing in the power of artificial intelligence from leading vendors to guard the customers against complex threats and deal with the shortage of IT security professionals efficiently.
Backdrop of Mark Nakrop Niamnamtham Founder & CEO
Mark brings more than 24 years of executive and technical experience with leading IT securities and networking vendors and distributor. Previously, Mark was the regional Asia south product marketing manager of Trend Micro where he led marketing effort for many Trend Micro solutions including interscan viruswall, network virus wall and endpoint security.
Well-known for being conscientious and outcome-driven, Mr. Niamnamtham helped change the perception of IT security and cybersecurity landscape for many IT leaders and executives, propelling Trend Micro products and services to a new level of success in ASEAN.
“We offer our partners a complete portfolio of fully customizable services, including Product and Technical Training, Customer Service and Credit, and Vendor Programs.”