Expect 2014 To Be Another Transition Year For Symantec, Says CEO

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Part of the Symantec turnaround includes a complete change to the company's direct sales force. The sales organization was split into renewals and business teams, and their roles changed to focus on net new business with a specialization of selling into information management or information security, Bennett said. The company also launched a centrally managed renewals team.

The go-to-market strategy also includes investing in acquiring customers directly to fuel sales of its Norton endpoint security suite, Bennet said. The company is launching Norton-branded small-business software, aiming at businesses of under 25 or 30 seats, he said.

"I think the opportunity for us is to take a lot of money that we were investing in that channel and acquire customers directly and build a digital first marketing direct capability," he said.

Partners tell CRN that they are experiencing disruption in the marketplace as Symantec executes on its transition plans. Uncertainty in the marketplace has resulted in less-than-stellar deals in 2013, said Jason Livingston, CEO of Bloomington, Minn.-based Intuitive Technology Group, a Symantec Platinum partner. Livingston remains optimistic for 2014 and said Symantec has been communicating its strategy changes throughout the process.

"With all the changes in management and changes in the account teams, there was a getting-to-know-you period again," Livingston told CRN. "A lot of the strategy is still under development, but for partners that chose to engage with those teams, it has been a collaborative process."

Bennett also said to expect a series of about $200 million in acquisitions over the next couple of quarters of technology and engineering teams. The acquisitions will be aimed at integration of Symantec point products, he said. "We’re buying engineers and technology to help us go faster as opposed to buying revenue," Bennett said.


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