Security-Focused Symantec Unleashes New Partner Program After Veritas Sale

As part of what the company says is the "new Symantec," the security vendor -- which last month revealed that it has sold its Veritas storage business -- sent out a letter to partners Tuesday outlining a new partner program designed to make it easier for partners to climb up to Platinum status.

"We are reaching out to you as the new Symantec -- one that is more focused, more passionate than ever and even more committed to security and to our partners. ... Upcoming enhancements we've made to our partner program [will] help you thrive in this fast-growth security market," said the letter, which was viewed by CRN and signed by Adrian Jones, executive vice president of global sales; John Thompson, senior vice president of global sales; and Stephen Thomas, vice president, Americas channel sales.

The new Symantec Secure One partner program, which was outlined in detail in the letter, has three metal tiers: Platinum, Gold and Silver. Within those tiers, there are two categories of resell and integrate that a partner can choose to move up the ranks of the program.

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The new program is designed to make achieving Platinum status easier than ever before, the letter said, eliminating technical validation and customer reference requirements and limiting certification requirements on deal registration and tier qualifications.

Symantec has also consolidated its core competencies to core security, threat protection, information protection and cybersecurity services. To move up to Platinum, resell partners have to hit sales goals in the core security competency. Integrate partners can now reach Platinum by hitting sales goals and having a certain number of qualified specialists in any of the remaining three core competency areas.

Once hitting those goals, partners are rewarded by a newly designed Growth Accelerator Rebate program, which unlocks growth rebates on the first transaction across the entire vendor security portfolio. Partners will receive 0.25 percent for up to 80 percent of target achievement, 2 percent up to 99 percent of target achievement and 6 percent for up to 150 percent of target achievement.

The letter also outlined changes to deal registration, keeping both the Margin Builder and Opportunity Registration programs and setting aside up to 20 percent margins on deal registration for partners of all levels regardless of certifications. The certification process has also been simplified, making Symantec Sales Expert and Sales Expert + optional and standardizing its Symantec Certified Specialist certifications.

All of the changes come just weeks after Symantec announced it was officially spinning off its Veritas storage business, selling it to Carlyle Group and Singapore-based GIC for $8 billion. The split will allow the Symantec side of the house to drive focus and growth around its security business, executives said at the time. The letter Tuesday reiterated that point, saying the changes in the partner program are designed to drive focus and opportunity for partners.

"Symantec has always been a partner-driven company, and it will continue to be even as we focus on security. We look forward to working with you, as we advance security, together," the letter said.

While full details on the program aren't yet available, Victor Villegas, vice president of sales and marketing at Torrance, Calif.-based Platinum partner Aurora Enterprises, said the new program appears to be "clean" and "simple" with a flattened competency structure and credentials, while maintaining revenue requirements.

"It seems cleaner, simpler, focused around security and security partners versus some of the blend of the Veritas days," Villegas said.

With the split coming, Villegas said, the timing is right for setting the tone for the kinds of focus coming from a security-only Symantec.

"I do think that it's important that they roll it out in October now that they're ... split from Veritas and come January it will be Symantec only. ... We're a security-only partner so it's now good to work with the security-focused Symantec ... focused on innovating its security portfolio," Villegas said.