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While the nine specializations cover a wide range of Symantec products, the program is also scalable, allowing for additional product categories and technologies obtained through future acquisitions.
Executives say that the deep expertise required for the specializations is the next step in Symantec's overall strategy that essentially shifts services business away from the company and under partners' control.
The partner-led shift was first introduced with the Sell With program, announced at the 2009 Symantec PartnerEngage, which promised to let partners take a direct lead on its services attached to a registered deal using Symantec tools and support -- the idea being that qualified partners who perform services wrapped around sales will receive a higher daily rate, and have streamlined access to Symantec support channels.
However, partners maintained that Sell With was flawed out of the gate. While the program ostensibly aimed to hand over the bulk of its services to partners, it instead fueled channel tensions and created distrust in the partner community by juxtaposing a direct services model with a channel-oriented one, partners said.
Dave Unger, director of sales engineering for BlueChipTek, a Sunnyvale, Calif.-based solution provider, said that this most recent iteration of the services-led strategy seems to be a little more on-target, by providing partners with all the required services information and documentation, and a full best practices knowledge transfer and intellectual property handover. "Symantec has finally got its act together," he said. "They're finally enabling partners."