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"How do you make them want to work with you? How do you get them to focus on yellow?" he said. "It's not just differentiation on competition. It's differentiation on mindshare."
Thus far, the Master Specializations currently exist in Enterprise Security, Endpoint Management, Data Loss Prevention, IT Compliance, and Archiving and eDiscovery, each of which requires its own level of services, consulting and technical expertise.
In addition, Symantec introduced three new specializations on the storage side of the house in the areas of Data Protection, High Availability, and Storage Management.
The company also launched an SMB segment specialization, which will ultimately provide cross-over opportunities with some of the other niche solution specializations, Cochran said.
Partners will have about 10 months to get up to speed on their chosen specialization, which includes achieving certification benchmarks needed to maintain their current partner level. However, partners that have already invested heavily and met requirements in a particular niche area -- for example DLP -- will automatically receive that specialization.