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EXCLUSIVE: Partners top priority for Symantec following Blue Coat acquisition

EXCLUSIVE: Partners top priority for Symantec following Blue Coat acquisition

Symantec global channel boss tells partners not to expect major changes

Symantec global vice-president of channel sales, John Thompson, has doused speculation of a major channel shakeup following the acquisition of Blue Coat.

“I don’t think you will see massive changes as a result of the acquisition on day one,” he said.

Symantec executives are expecting to finalise the acquisition on October 1, and Thompson promises profitability, predictability and sustainability to partners following the completion of the deal.

“Those that invest with us, we want to continue to invest with them so we can continue to have mutual growth and profitability.

“I would not be looking for dramatic changes in either the Blue Coat or the Symantec programs," he said.

Thompson said the Symantec channel program, introduced in October 2015, will still be the blueprint for partner engagement for the foreseeable future.

“Once we are one company, it would make sense to look toward some sort of unified program over a longer period of time.

Symantec global vice president partner/channel sales, John Thompson
Symantec global vice president partner/channel sales, John Thompson

He said the combined entity would look to engage the partner community before committing to any new strategy or program.

Thompson added that the acquisition would add to the company’s strength in email, endpoint, server protection and advanced threat protection (APT) through the addition of Web and network security technologies.

“For existing partners who carry both, it allows them to go deeper and for partners which have one or the other, there are a number of different products here which will allow them to get even better scale.”

Symantec monitors 175 million endpoints and one third of global email traffic and Thompson said this combined with the data collected from Blue Coat, which monitors 12,000 Cloud applications, gives the vendor unrivalled insight into the threat landscape which partners can leverage.

Blue Coat investors, Bain Capital and Silver Lake Partners, have increased investment in the combined entity, following the acquisition.

Thompson said he could not speculate on whether these funds would be used for future acquisitions or targets but did say the company had a broad portfolio and pointed to the history of both organisations of “securing new products when they need to”.

“Our focus will be on cyber innovation and we now have a huge stable of research and development with over 3000 engineers,” he said.

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