VARBusiness 500 Executive Briefings Update: Symantec

In terms of trends, Seelinger discussed the increasing complexity of network management along with geographically dispersed implementations and the security, storage and availability needs that go along with them. She said systems management is seeing a change in the traditional model, expanding to become more IT centric and less security centric, and also pointed out the importance of information integrity.

The winning combination? "Information security plus information availability equals information integrity," Seelinger said. "Information availability -- that's what business owners are about."

Seelinger said these trends have led to changes in the needs of the IT arena, as IT is now looked at as a means for reaching additional customers and ultimately reducing costs. According to Seelinger, Symantec customers' top management challenges include policy management, incident management, provisioning, patch remediation, asset management and data protection.

To address these challenges, Symantec is seeking the help of its partners to understand the best ways to protect customers and has adjusted its partner program accordingly.

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"We recently changed the way we look at our partners," Seelinger explained. The company is now grouping partners according to customer segmentation and business model. "Someone who sells to the SMB needs different tools than someone selling to the large enterprise," she added.

Seelinger also discussed the new deal-registration program available in North America, which aims to help with additional margin and generating new opportunities for partners. In addition, Symantec offers resources and education to its channel partners, including enhanced 24/7 technology support, as well as prerelease programs and other support for marketing, development, technology and licensing.