Enrique Salem: Symantec To Expand Services, Integrate Technologies

Of the many things on Symantec's "to-do" list for the next year, CEO Enrique Salem said expanding services and further integrating technologies were the top priorities, as well as the need for partners to continue to drive specializations and certifications to become more competitive in the marketplace.

These were some of the messages highlighted to a few hundred channel partners and Symantec employees during Salem's opening speech Monday at Symantec Vision conference, held in Las Vegas April 12 through April 14.

Looking forward, Salem promised that the channel would comprise more and more of the company's business -- especially in the area of services.

"You'll be a bigger part of our business. That is a commitment that we will stick to -- what are all the ways we can get you involved in whatever we're doing," Salem said.

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Symantec announced last week that it planned to hand over the majority of its consulting business to a select group of qualified partners -- a fact to which Salem alluded but did not outline to his audience. However, Salem said that Symantec planned to expand the existing Sell With program, announced last year during its PartnerEngage Conference in Orlando, Fla., in an effort to leverage its best partners "to enable us to deliver more services to our customers," he said.

Subsequently, Salem called upon the company's channel partners to step up to the plate to drive and help expand the company's growing -- but still single digit -- service business.

"How do we scale more quickly? The best way to scale quickly is to leverage all of you," he said. "You've got to help us. This is the biggest opportunity you're going to get from Symantec. If you do a good job for us, we'll push more business toward you."

Next: Partners Need to Go Deeper

In addition, Salem called on partners to become more specialized and go deeper with their expertise in certain product areas and technologies such as Net Backup, Backup Exec and Enterprise Vault. Salem's request was reminiscent of Symantec vice president of North American channel sales Randy Cochran's challenge last year to partners to reduce the number of vendors on their line card and beef up their certifications.

"It's a real partnership. It's about us together creating a great solution for customers. How do you specialize?" he asked."Let's stay on that track. You need to be able to articulate the differences."

Underscoring an initiative that started over the last year, Salem said that Symantec was in the process of fulfilling last year's pledge to further integrate technologies and incorporate multiple products into suites -- as opposed to developing and selling a wider array of point products.

Integrated security and storage suites were even more important for partners to promote and sell, Salem said, as the corporate IT environment changed and customers continued to look for ways to cut costs and house more functionality under one umbrella in the weak economy.

Salem also hinted at impending structural changes within the company, but failed to provide details, while also briefly touching on the company's future cloud strategy. Currently, Symantec's cloud strategy was centered on creating and securing private corporate clouds, but would eventually evolve to include more storage and security offerings to be delivered as a service, Salem said.

"Expect everything that makes sense to be delivered as a service," he said.

Meanwhile, Salem said that while the company was the market leader, Symantec only had about 50 percent of the market in backup and recovery, and less than that in security, opening up a wide playing field for potential market share growth.

"Talk about conflict," he said. "How do we get more of the rest of the market? The really important point though is how big the opportunity is. The total security market is many billions of dollars," he said. "Let's go after the rest of it. It's the evolution of our program -- how do we go after the rest of the market?"