As a year dominated by security attacks and wide-scale breaches passes the halfway mark, partners are preparing to capitalise on rising customer concern for the remainder of 2018.
The six months just gone has already played host to a string of targeted attacks, spanning both sides of the Tasman and the rest of the world.
In Australia, PageUp has been in the spotlight with the human resources software provider revealing that personal data relating to its clients, placement agencies, applicants, references and employees was “probably accessed”.
Meanwhile in New Zealand, the Inland Revenue, Z Energy and Vector have fallen victim to media headlines and public scrutiny, not to mention a government minister impersonated via social media.
In response, Symantec is strengthening channel capabilities to capitalise on an industry lacking leadership and direction, as businesses stagger from one failed security strategy to another.
“We will ensure that we continue our commitment to our channel-first policy throughout the region,” said Joe McPhillips, director of channel sales A/NZ at Symantec.
“Secondly, we will remain laser focused with our key business partners to ensure that we are maximising the opportunity presented to both organisations through meaningful engagements.
“Thirdly, we will continue to identify, recruit, train and develop the next layer of business partners utilising our distribution go-to-market programs.”
Symantec’s increased partner drive comes as the dust settles on the rollout of data breach notification laws in Australia, with New Zealand awaiting similar legislation.
Coupled with the recent introduction of GDPR and both sides of the Tasman are brimming with customer concern.
“We are seeing our customers take a very serious look at this impact and in turn, are seeing businesses view security more holistically and change views on how they make better security buying decisions,” McPhillips added.
“Our message of a more integrated, intelligent security platform that spans multi-vectors as well as all relevant access points including on-premise and in the cloud continues to resonate.”
According to McPhillips, such impact to the channel remains “positive” as customers looks to trusted security partners to help navigate through a “very large number” of vendor technologies in the market.
“For a customer to be able to access and decide on which technologies they should buy is extremely difficult today, creating a crucial role for partners,” he said. “Customers also want to buy the way they want to buy meaning channel partners and distributors can act as the aggregation point for vendor technologies.
“This provides an opportunity to offer customers with a comprehensive integrated solution through a commercial offering that is relevant to the end-user.”
In response to increased market demand, McPhillips said partners can expect an increased focus on education and knowledge, backed up by “profitable” solutions delivered through the Symantec supply chain.
“Our solutions need implementing and that’s the job of the business partner,” he explained. “Alongside an increase in demand of our products and solutions, professional services will be a huge opportunity for Symantec’s partners.
“Especially as we bring cloud, network and end-point technologies closer together. Partners who understand this will differentiate themselves very quickly. Furthermore, the managed security services offering still remains a very healthy partner opportunity.”
Within the channel ecosystem, the road to differentiation ultimately starts with specialisation, and a need to provide tailored solutions to specific end-user outcomes.
Yet for partners, focusing on fewer technologies can prove challenging in a competitive marketplace.
“While this can be risk, this approach will pay dividends for the channel given that customers are willing to pay for expertise and experience,” McPhillips advised.
“Customers also purchase technologies in different ways, meaning partners must evolve to meet this new demand otherwise they risk becoming marginalised.
“Partners that focus on security, with an ability to understand and articulate the Symantec integrated security platform will be successful in 2018.”