Symantec Launches New Unified Channel Program

The move is the first phase in a complete overhaul of Symantec’s channel program and consists mainly of sifting through 20 different programs to come up with four different channel partner types with four different levels, said Julie Parrish, vice president of Symantec’s global channel office.

The vendor also has shrunk its eight legacy online partner portals into a single portal, she said.

Symantec’s solution providers now are classified as channel partners, which lead with product sales and add services; service and consulting partners, which lead with services; technology and platform partners, or OEMs; and global strategic partners, which do joint development with the vendor. The channel-level partners and service and consulting-level partners are further classified by level of activity as Registered, Silver, Gold or Platinum.

At the Silver level, partners have access to online technical information, limited telephone support, advanced product information, and product evaluation opportunities, Parrish said.

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Gold-level partners qualify for improved technical support, opportunity registration and rebate programs, and discounted training.

Platinum-level partners receive priority technical support and more product evaluation opportunities.

The benefits, certifications and authorizations that Symantec’s solution providers currently enjoy will not change with the channel reorganization, unless a partner is on the border between one level and another, Parrish said. “When in doubt, we moved them up a level,” she said.

In the next phase of the program consolidation, Symantec by January plans to add a points system to determine partner level, Parrish said.

The reorganization will help Symantec focus its channel resources going forward, said Neil Medwed, president of Preferred Technology Solutions, a solution provider in Richardson, Texas.

“At least there is a road map to move from Registered to Silver to Gold to Platinum,” Medwed said. “It’s a way for them to decide which partners to spend time with,” he said.