Symantec Adds Cloud Products For SMBs To Channel Program

The security vendor added Endpoint and Backup to SMB Specialization, a partner program launched a year ago, according to Sue Smith, senior director of Symantec’s North American channel.

Endpoint is software hosted by Symantec that enables customers to manage security and policy compliance on Windows laptops, desktops and file servers through a Web-based management console. Backup provides online backup and recovery.

The cloud-based products give channel partners additional options in matching Symantec products with customers’ budgets, Smith said Wednesday. “There’s more opportunity there (for resellers).”

To go along with the broader product portfolio, the company is making more senior technicians available within the SMB partner program to answer pre- and post sales questions from resellers. “We’re hoping to create ways for partners to resolve questions faster,” Smith said.

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Symantec started its Specialization program to give resellers the chance to focus on smaller categories of products. Within Symantec’s SMB portfolio, a reseller can get training in security or backup or both.

David Sockol, president and chief executive of San Carlos, Calif.-based Symantec partner Emagined Security, said requiring VARs to become specialists, and then listing their expertise on Symantec’s Website makes it less like a company focused on enterprise products will sell to an SMB.

“The program Symantec put together not only helps the partner community, but it helps the customer, who knows which organizations specialize in specific products,” Sockol said.

Last month, Randy Cochran, Symantec vice president of channel sales for the Americas, encouraged VARs to go outside their comfort zone and specialize in several product categories. That kind of knowledge can lead to discussions on security easily morphing into talks on encryption, authentication and backup and recovery.

“I want you to step outside your comfort zone and look for new and creative ways of doing business,” Cochran said at Symantec’s Partner Engage 2011 conference in Phoenix, Ariz.