Symantec revamps NZ channel strategy

Symantec revamps NZ channel strategy

Security vendor doubles down on Westcon-Comstor

Klasie Holtzhausen (Symantec)

Klasie Holtzhausen (Symantec)

Credit: IDG

Symantec has rolled out a refreshed channel strategy in New Zealand, designed to drive partner growth through distribution in key market segments.

The move sees the security vendor appoint Sam Taylor as country manager of New Zealand, alongside distribution changes through a sole agreement with Westcon-Comstor across enterprise and small and medium-sized business solutions.

Effective 1 April, Reseller News can reveal that previous incumbents Arrow ECS New Zealand and Ingram Micro will cease trading as of 29 March.

Reseller News also understands that Ingram Micro Cloud will continue to distribute the vendor’s cloud offerings through its marketplace platform.

“At Symantec, we are constantly looking at optimising our business model to to better service the New Zealand market,” said Klasie Holtzhausen, senior director of Pacific Channel at Symantec. “Taking a channel-first approach, we identified ways to improve and focus on areas where our impact is greatest as we pursue new opportunities in the market.

“We evaluated and decided to double down our efforts with Westcon-Comstor in New Zealand.”

Through a refined distribution strategy, Holtzhausen said both parties will now ensure “strong end-to-end coverage” across the core market segments of enterprise and SMB across the country.

“This focus allows us to reach a broader range of customers while providing complementary skills and technical knowledge across the customer ecosystem,” Holtzhausen added. “This also allows us to place more resources in one place, rather than spreading our capabilities across the channel.

“Partnering Symantec, Westcon-Comstor can now play to their strengths to focus on enabling their partners to provide the best possible customer experience from pre-sales, purchasing, implementation, and post-sales support.”

The agreement leverages a partnership that has been in place for more than 13 years in New Zealand, having first joined forces in 2006.

“Symantec is a key partner to Westcon and plays an important role in the growth of our business,” added Dave Rosenberg, managing director of Westcon-Comstor New Zealand.

“We are humbled by the trust they have just placed in us, but are also 100 per cent committed to investing in the development and profitability of our Symantec channel, providing them with the support and services they need in order to transform their businesses.”

To help drive growth through the channel, Westcon-Comstor recently appointed James Hockly as vendor business manager of Symantec, with a new pre-sales technical enablement manager also set to be recruited.

“We will have the right additional resource needed to ensure our Symantec reseller community and customers are fully supported,” Rosenberg added.

“Westcon will also be making an investment in Symantec Technology in their Leap Centre which will give partners a resource containing the Symantec portfolio for training and proof of concepts.”

Kiwi partners can also purchase Symantec via BlueSky, Westcon-Comstor’s cloud-platform, having been available to the channel since 2010.

NZ ambitions

Speaking to Reseller News on the ground in Auckland, Holtzhausen said an opportunity exists to grow the vendor’s business in New Zealand, with the appointment of Taylor central to such ambitions.

Taylor replaces Craig Betts in the local leadership role, who exited the vendor earlier this year to pursue new opportunities within the robotic process automation market.

“Under Sam’s leadership, we are building out our team and capabilities locally,” Holtzhausen explained.

“This is from optimising our business model to a single distributor with Westcon-Comstor to investing in developing managed services with key partners, and working closely with our reseller channels on an integrated strategy to deliver the best outcomes for their customers’ security needs.”

In assessing the local market, Holtzhausen said enterprise customers are looking to consolidate vendors and adopt more integrated platforms backed by an open ecosystem.

“Symantec’s Integrated Cyber Defense (ICD) Platform unifies products, services and partners to provide the best-of-breed information and threat protection, identity management, compliance and other advanced services, powered by shared intelligence and automation across endpoints, networks, applications and clouds,” he added.

“To date, more than 120 partners have joined forces with Symantec to drive down the cost and complexity of cyber security, while improving response time to protect businesses against sophisticated threats.

“And we continue to see positive traction, with more and more customers moving away from individual products to adopt the ICD platform and portfolio.”

In addition, Holtzhausen also cited growth through the channel within the cloud security market, recognising a “big push in that direction”.

“We see partners assuming the role of trusted advisor with their customers and helping businesses secure their workloads and applications in the cloud,” Holtzhausen said.

“While some enterprise customers might have adequate resources to help support this change, but further down the market, that’s not always the case which represents opportunity for partners.”

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