Here is my English translation of the article
“Check Point: Why Local Manufacturing Is Critical For Foreign Vendors”
by Vasily Diaghilev, Head of the Check Point Software Technologies Representative Office in Russia and the CIS
I’ve lately came across here in Russian.
Bonus for those who choose to read it on our site:
I’ve added some “hint-links” inside my translation below, so you’ll be able to understand more clearly non only why local manufacturing is critical for foreign vendors who intend to do business in Russia, but also how you can setup one for your technology company to be able to compete and win the Russian Market.
My alternative suggestion for the article title is below. Enjoy your reading.
Check Point: Made in Russia
Check Point Software Technologies has been present on the Russian market for more than 15 years, but in reality the company’s work began much earlier – in fact, since the appearance of Check Point products on a global scale. So for more than twenty years, Check Point products have been presented in Russia.
The Russian market, like many markets in other countries, has its own requirements in terms of the use of security tools in various classes of information systems. In other words, Check Point solutions manufactured and supplied fall under government regulation.
In Russia, there has also recently been a certain import substitution program, which is aimed at localizing the production process as much as possible and making sure that the equipment transferred as part of supplies to various establishments of the Russian Federation goes through a the production control and development program of the Russian industry. Therefore, Check Point has been engaged in the software certification process for quite a long time, but now there is a need to localize not only the software, but also the Check Point hardware platform.
The process of local manufacturing capabilities development began in 2014 and took several years to find and develop a solution that would meet the current market needs. This was only the first step in the localization of our products in the Russian Federation.
Formally, our production began operating in 2018, when we began to accept the first trial orders and make trial shipments to a number of customers in Russia. At the moment, the production works on the principle of mass assembly of those orders that require local production.
In addition to the fact that local manufacturing in Russia complies with the spirit of import substitution, it allows us to easily fit the requirements of the regulatory documents of conformity of the manufactured products.
To localize production, an independent cooperation was created together with Check Point, which took on the burden in terms of organizing the processes of production, personnel training and, most importantly, meeting all the highest Check Point requirements for the quality of the assembly process itself and components, as well as control over the equipment testing, which in one way or another bears the Check Point brand.
At the moment, local manufacturing is not only a large-scale assembly, not just putting a case on a finished motherboard, but a complete cycle of components assembly production process. We assemble the entire platform from a set of components that defined by the model specifications. Moreover, literally at the end of last year, this manufacturer got the ability not only to assemble Check Point equipment, but also to deliver advanced support and high-grain repair capabilities at the level of soldering and deeper modernization of platforms and PCB boards. If earlier we were faced with the need to repair the hardware platform, we simply replaced it with a new one. Now we have the ability, with the help of a Russian provider, to carry out rather serious RMA cases, deep repairs and ensure a quick return of the repaired equipment to our customers.
To create a local manufacturing of data and network security equipment, it was necessary to obtain licenses from Russian regulators – FSTEC, FSB – to conduct this kind of activity. This required specific retrofitting with tools and equipment, personnel training and a number of other activities.
The assembly line itself is identical to those used in other manufacturing facilities of the company. The manufacture has passed all internal Check Point certifications in terms of the quality of the assembled product. We take this really seriously: we have both inbound and outbound quality and platform integrity compliance control.
For manufacturing of Check Point certified security products, a complex production is organized with the involvement of consignee companies applying for certification of Check Point solutions in Russia and the CIS countries.
All standards are met as per sterility of the manufacturing facility, electrical protection, and so on. We guarantee that the products manufactured in the territory of the Russian Federation have the same quality level as the devices manufactured at other factories of the company.
The production is constantly monitored: both Check Point specialists and experts from the company that produces the component base visit for inspections. We provide regular monitoring of work. During the pandemic, these checks were a little frequent, but still, about once a quarter manufacture is revised.
Employees are constantly trained by our technical experts, have all the knowledge and skills required for the job: we are talking not only about physical assembly of the hardware platform, but also about software models pre-installation there. Employees know how to diagnose and repair, as well as run QA, integration and integrity compliance tests on the equipment.
What we produce
Today we produce both the current model line and the so-called 2012-year model line. Therefore, we are obliged to maintain the availability and technical support of the previous product lines according to the requirements of our customers who have already installed similar systems.
In other words, we can produce both the latest modern equipment and those models that are in demand for our Russian customers, but are no longer available in the rest of the world.
Made in Russia
Customers always know what kind of equipment they buy – made in Russia or abroad – and they have a choice. For most companies, this opportunity will last long enough. But one of the big restrictions, which is already starting to be applied, is that recently all solutions that require certification should be produced only on the territory of the Russian Federation. That is, if the customer needs a certified equipment for data, network or communications security solution, he will not be able to purchase a device manufactured abroad. It is possible to purchase and use only a model line that was produced on the territory of the RF, under the regulators’ control.
Therefore, our customers can be confident that the equipment will meet all the requirements of technical specifications technical regulations (TRs), or security and threats protection demands, as well as all the requirements for certified information security devices in Russia
Our manufacture bears the “Made in Russia” label. We are already working to including this production in the registry of certified equipment produced in the Russian Federation. This requires a certain refinement of the entire process, including significant increase in a number of components produced in the Russian Federation, and obtaining the official status of “Russian-manufactured” equipment from the Ministry of Industry and Trade.
There is a slight difference between equipment “manufactured on the territory of the Russian Federation” and equipment that is “Made in Russia”. For us, the first step was organizing the assembly and firmware / software installation on the territory of the Russian Federation, the second is the organization of full-fledged Russian production. This is very important for completing the manufacturing localization process on the Russian market.
The main requirement for those who want to do business in Russia and be present on the market is the maximum localization of equipment production in Russia.
The manufacturing localization is not a unique project of Check Point. There are a number of other international companies that also have production facilities in Russia. Check Point was not the first foreign vendor to setup a local manufacturing, but the first one to localize a security solution production for customers.
Our main plans are further localization of our platform, obtaining a certificate from the Ministry of Industry and Trade for a completely Russian production of platforms. Further, we plan to certify the already Russian-made equipment for passing the certification according to the new requirements of trust in the FSTEC and the FSB, which will allow customers of all segments of the Russian market to use our solutions and develop an already existing install base at the customer level.