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Symantec’s five-point plan for the channel

Symantec channel chief John Thompson at the 2016 Partner Engage conference

LOS ANGELES – It’s status quo for both the Symantec and Blue Coat channel teams and programs. But come the new year solution providers should expect changes from the new Symantec.

Company channel chief John Thompson said Symantec is working on a joint action plan that will combine the two channel programs for launch sometime in April of 2017. With that he unveiled a five-point plan for the channel partners of both companies. They are:

  1. Engage with Symantec to leverage market opportunity;
  2. Invest and drive profitability with solutions and partner program incentives;
  3. Drive commercial SMB opportunity as well as enterprise;
  4. Drive major cross selling plays and up sell opportunities that leverages the new Integrated Cyber Defense architecture strategy; and
  5. Take advantage of tools and growth in the new partner program.

Thompson indicated solution providers that invest in Symantec have the potential to go after a $18.7 billion market for FY17 that’s growing at nine per cent over the next three years.

“We plan to shift away from hardware towards devices, software and services,” Thompson said. “Every man, woman and child has a mobile device and by 2020 they will have five connected devices. This completely changes the security landscape. How do we protect them as a collective community?”

Thompson reiterated there are no new programs being announced at the PartnerEngage 2016 conference. But they channel team will be working on getting feedback from partners.

Currently there is very little difference between the Blue Coat and Symantec programs. Symantec, for example has 20 points of deal registration and new development funds, while Blue Coat offers 22 points on deal registration and selective development funds.

Look for a new five points of bonus margin from Symantec which is being used to reward partners who sell incrementally into the cloud specifically around SEP 14, which will be released later on this year.

“The shift to cloud is coming quicker than expected,” he said.

He added, the company is also looking to optimize competencies and certification requirements when the roll out the new program in 2017. “Again, we are not announcing this but it is where we are headed.”

In terms of direction, Thompson outlined another five-point plan that will see security vendor:

  1. Standardize on front-end opportunity registration with added deal registration benefits;
  2. Introduce teaming plans for co-selling opportunities with customized benefits structure;
  3. Selectively extend technical supporting programs;
  4. Reward more services type work; and
  5. Incumbency protection.

“It’s not all perfect. We need crisp predictability as we go to market,” he said.

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