SYMANTEC has restructured its channel partner programme to equip partners with sales and marketing tools that are specific to the market segment they operate in.
Instead of categorising partners according to their technical ability and security knowledge, Symantec will now map its partners in alignment with the size of the customers they sell to.
Partners will now be classified in a range of levels starting from enterprise security and enterprise administration partners — value-added resellers that provide large enterprises with security or enterprise administration solutions — to software partners who deal with small businesses and consumers.
The enterprise administration partner category is a new classification created for value-added resellers that can deploy and integrate Symantec’s enterprise administration products, such as Ghost and V2i Protector, with products from other vendors for medium and large organisations.
According to Natasha Mclean, business partner manager at Symantec New Zealand, the changes were based on feedback from partners requesting market specific product and marketing support as they specialise more in technologies and vertical markets.
“They wanted sales tools from Symantec that were specific to their customers,” she says.
The company also plans to enhance technical support and introduce new partner benefits, including around the clock implementation support for enterprise security and administration partners, and access for eligible partners to pre-release and beta versions of new software.
According to Paul Plester, sales manager of Symantec distributor Express Data, the changes are an indication of how major vendors are moving to leverage better off their local channel and to use it to its full potential.
“We feel good about the changes,” he says.
Simon Goode of Axon, an enterprise security partner, believes the revamped programme and planned benefit enhancements raises the bar for the industry in terms of support partnership and benefits and would enable partners to provide customers with increased value and service that meet their needs better.
Simon Scott of online reseller Acquire says the re-categorisation of its partners will make it easier for Symantec to secure subscription renewals.
“This will make renewals more efficient for customers. A lot of the major vendors are under pressure to find ways to retain their customer base.”