Eye On Symantec-Veritas Channel Plans

Veritas, Mountain View, Calif., will be conducting a closed-door meeting with a handful of solution providers on Tuesday, but company executives declined to comment on the planned substance of those meetings.

Solution providers say they'll be watching for clues as to how the new entity will handle the channel going forward in the wake of recent comments from Symantec Chairman and CEO John Thompson, who said he expects 90 percent of the senior channel managers will come from Symantec and 60 percent of direct-sales senior managers from Veritas.

In an e-mail confirming those plans, a Symantec spokesperson also said Thompson wants to transfer Cupertino, Calif.-based Symantec's success in midmarket channels to the combined company.

That doesn't surprise Pat Edwards, vice president of sales at Alliance Technology Group, a Hanover, Md.-based solution provider, but it does worry him a bit. "With the efforts Veritas has put out in the last year in the channel, I'm not sure if [the combined company] will build on it or if it will be kiboshed," Edwards said. "Veritas offers more of the touch needed for high-end installations."

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Symantec-Veritas already has made a few management appointments Edwards said should alleviate some channel concerns. For instance, Julie Parrish, vice president of Americas field and channel marketing at Veritas, will lead the enterprise, midmarket and channel marketing team.

Allyson Seelinger, vice president of global channel sales and strategy at Symantec, will handle global channels. While Edwards said he has never seen better support from his Veritas sales reps, another solution provider complained of major turnovers.

"They'll work with us," said the solution provider, who requested anonymity. "But not with the real day-to-day, tactical channel management you need to run channel sales."