XChange 2014: Samsung, Symantec Aim To Drive More Business Through The Channel

Samsung and Symantec are looking to have more business going through the channel in coming years, company executives told attendees at an XChange 2014 session Tuesday in San Antonio.

Samsung is looking to grow its business-to-business offerings from $11 billion today to $84 billion in 2020, said Matt Smith, vice president of printing solutions in Samsung's enterprise printing division. With the exception of two large hotel chains, all B2B sales go through the channel, Smith said.

Meanwhile, Symantec launched a new partner program in April and has seen the percentage of North American revenue coming through the channel increase from 70 percent prior to the program to 80 percent today, said May Mitchell, the company's vice president of North America marketing.

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"Symantec was the sleeping giant," said Mitchell, noting the company now has more than 300 partners. "Well, we've woken up."

Samsung plans to focus on printing, where the South Korean-based company expects sales to increase at a 62 percent compound annual growth rate over the next three years, according to Smith.

The growth in demand for printing stems from a more mobile workforce and the gradual corporate embrace of the bring-your-own-device model, he said. Companies want their employees to be able to print not only from desktops or laptops, Smith said, but also from smartphones, tablets or the cloud. The interest doesn't ebb even if the workers are stationed at a remote location.

"Today's office is no longer PC- or server-based," Smith said. "Mobility and agility are highly valued assets."

Much of Samsung's efforts focus on enabling smartphones to easily scan, store and distribute information and images, he said. Some of Samsung's more recent tools allow for seamless capturing and sharing of whiteboards from business meetings, Smith said, allowing firms to forgo the traditional routine of taking a picture of the board and making copies.

"The more that we can connect devices, the less you have to print," Smith said.

NEXT: Black Market For Hacked Data Is Big Business

On the security side, Symantec's Mitchell warned that the black market is a big business, generating more than $100 billion in activity each year.

"Every single piece of data on the black market today is worth $138," she said, citing the results of a recent Internet Security Threat Report.

And small and midsize businesses are particularly at risk, she said, with 60 percent of recent attacks on systems with 2,000 or fewer users.

These attacks are also be carried out through nontraditional devices, with 38 percent of mobile phone users reporting a cyberattack in the past year. Fifty-eight percent of mobile users report having company data on their phones, Mitchell said.

State and local government, health-care and manufacturing supply chains are among the most targeted industries, she said.

With three decades of experience, Symantec, Mountain View, Calif., has grown to be the seventh largest security company in America, Mitchell said, and controls nearly 35 percent of the North American endpoint market. She said Symantec engages in efforts such as the Internet Security Threat Report study to help arm solution providers with the information needed to best protect end users.

"If I'm a small-business owner, I should just be able to run my business, and the security should be seamless," Mitchell said.

Nathan Phinney, director of managed services at Irvine, Calif.-based Bright Bear Technology Solutions, said he finds too many vendors mistakenly think Macintosh products aren't vulnerable to security threats. He was glad to see Symantec carry out a detailed threat assessment of the Mac OS.

Steven Oschman, managing partner of Telemagen in Mooresville, Ind., took Mitchell's message to heart. One of his clients was recently hit with a CryptoLocker virus and lost a section of its files.

"This is no longer just an antivirus thing," Oschman said. "We're talking about real threats."