Symantec pushes for channel unity with new partner program

Symantec pushes for channel unity with new partner program

First revamp of offering since Blue Coat acquisition sees cross-sell and up-sell opportunities rise for partners

Cyber security company, Symantec, has released its first unified partner program since the acquisition of Blue Coat Systems with the aim of unifying its diverse partner base.

Symantec’s partner community has always been a big tent, but it has become that much bigger since the company’s acquisition of Blue Coat for US$4.6 billion giving the vendor a unique problem, dealing with such a broad partner base.

In response, the company has amalgamated its offerings into a single partner offering, retaining the name of the company’s existing program, Secure One.

Symantec has built its program around two core competencies, what it is calling core and enterprise security - the former targeting the SMB and mid-market sectors and the latter on the top end of town.

“It is reflective of the fact that there is no one size fits all mentality,” Symantec vice president of worldwide partner sales, Torjus Gylstorff, told ARN.

“There are two dimensions here, one is [that] can we reach customers in a more effective way through partners which give us access to the local market and have specific skills and relationships.

Torjus Gylstorff - Symantec vice president of worldwide partner sales
Torjus Gylstorff - Symantec vice president of worldwide partner sales

“The other dimension is about building skills around Symantec technology and adding value to the technical implementation of the equipment. Putting Symantec in a solution setting that we could not put ourselves in without the partner.

“We realise that we have a very broad portfolio in cyber security, probably one of the biggest, but still there is no such thing as a one stop security shop, everything needs to be implemented into a larger setting and the conversations we are having with service providers, GSIs [global systems integrators] is really more about how we get Symantec solutions as part of the broader solutions setting," he said.

Gylstorff said the company had to balance this with the needs of smaller partners delivering endpoint technology on premise or in the cloud.

“Both of those types of partners are important, it is just a very different selling motion that caters to those two types of partners.

This puts the vendor in a situation where there is a push and pull approach to its two types of partners. The smaller partners are attracting business, in part, through the strength of the Symantec and Norton brands.

While the vendor is pushing into the larger partners focused on the enterprise market to get mind share.

“At the smaller end of the market, it is the brand, it is the fact that the products work well, we have a long history in cyber security and there is demand from the customers,” he said.

“Whereas at the larger setting it is a solutions approach, our technology needs to integrate, the service provider needs to see a good fit in the overall security posture.

“That is our approach [with larger partners], it is almost an architectural discussion.”

From a local perspective, Symantec Pacific managing director, Ian McAdam, said that in order for the company to have a holistic approach to the cyber conversation, the company was now talking to customers about the combined technology suite and its relevance to end users.

Ian McAdam - Symantec managing director Pacific
Ian McAdam - Symantec managing director Pacific

“We did have two different partner communities which had very little overlap and the number of conversations that are now addressing both sides is only reinforcing what I hear from the customers that there is a form of consolidation occurring,” he said.

“It is a really good time for us to open up a new program where we get those two types of partners talking together on cross-sell and up-sell opportunities because it just means a broader competency for our customers.”

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Tags symantecIan McAdamsecureoneTorjus Gylstorff



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