Symantec Gives Partners A Road Map For Opportunity

Before the Veritas/Symantec merger last year, about half of Veritas’ revenue went through channel partners, but that figure has jumped to 63 percent, said Tom Kendra, group president of worldwide sales and services at Symantec.

Synergy between the security and storage product lines is being realized through deal registration, with 16 percent of partners utilizing Symantec’s deal registration program for both security and storage opportunities, according to Julie Parrish, vice president of Symantec’s global channel sales and strategy. Symantec’s 270 North American partners taking part in the deal registration program have registered a total of 2,658 deals since the beginning of the year, Parrish said.

As an added incentive, Symantec, Cupertino, Calif., also announced that until June 25, partners who register deals will get an extra two points on the back end, said Randy Cochran, vice president of channel sales for the Americas. Symantec executives outlined several key areas of opportunity for partners, including IT compliance, enterprise messaging management, simplification of data center environments and consulting and support services.

Companies that don’t have clear policies for compliance with regulatory measures are putting themselves at risk, said Jeremy Burton, senior vice president of enterprise security and data management at Symantec. The vendor’s 2005 acquisitions of Sygate and BindView brought endpoint- and policy-compliance tools into the Symantec portfolio, and partners must explain the need for these solutions to customers, Burton said. “If you don’t have a compliance story, learn how to tell one,” Burton told partners.

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Brian Okun, director of marketing at Chips Computer Consulting, a solution provider in Lake Success, N.Y., hasn’t done much work in IT risk management but says it’s an area he’ll soon be focusing on.

“The whole IT risk management story is new to solution providers in the midmarket, but the best practices that Symantec is outlining in corporate compliance and messaging management will eventually filter down [to the midmarket],” Okun said.

Enterprise messaging management—Symantec’s plan for blocking threats at the network gateway and keeping sensitive information from being sent outside the network—is an area the vendor expects to become its next billion dollar business, Burton said. “We have to start to supervise the flow of information from the inside out.”

Symantec's goal of helping companies reduce complexity in the data center by standardizing on its Data Center Foundation offering represents a major opportunity for partners, Parrish said. Not only are data center deals larger than most, partners also can make themselves more strategically important to customers as opposed to being just technology suppliers, she said.

Symantec plans to launch a program in early July consisting of tools and customized training to help partners evangelize the benefits of data center standardization to customers.

Small businesses soon will be able to add continuous data protection and fast system-restore capabilities at an affordable price. Symantec’s LiveState Recovery solution, which includes LiveState Recovery Advanced Server, Restore Anywhere option and Lights Out Recovery option, will be rebranded Backup Exec System Recovery. The solution is slated to be available under its new name on July 18, and its price will be cut from $1,695 to $1,095.

The Backup Exec suite reduces the amount of time needed to restore lost systems and information from more than a day to minutes, said Norman Menz, managing member of Prevalent Networks, a solution provider in Bridgewater, N.J. “It’s an extremely powerful way of dealing with a situation that used to be very complex and time consuming,” Menz said.

Symantec plans to increase its services business from 4 percent to 10 percent as part of its push to generate $1 billion in services revenue by 2010. As part of this push, partners will have a “significant opportunity” to provide services around Symantec’s Enterprise Vault product, said Greg Hughes, executive vice president of worldwide services and support at Symantec. For example, partners can develop policies for customers and help them when they need to find and produce information for use in an audit, Hughes said.

“What’s interesting about Enterprise Vault is that the services opportunities are going to be much higher than any other infrastructure areas we are involved in,” Hughes said.