Symantec, Veritas March Toward Split With Operational Separation Complete

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Symantec and Veritas have taken the next big step toward their separation, Monday officially completing the operational split into two separate companies focused on security and storage, respectively.

Last October, Symantec revealed that in order to drive better focus, it was pursuing a split of its storage and security businesses, essentially undoing the company's 2005 acquisition of storage vendor Veritas for $10.2 billion. In August, Symantec announced that instead of splitting the companies, it planned to sell Veritas to private equity investor Carlyle Group for $8 billion.

The sale of Veritas is not complete -- it is expected to close by the end of the year -- but the operational split takes a standalone Symantec one step further toward being an independent company. Executives said that independent stance will allow it to funnel significant investments into its security products and partner community.

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[Related: CRN Exclusive: Behind The Scenes At Symantec's Security Operations Center]

It's not the end of the road yet, but partners were fired up about the operational split.

"Excitement -- that would encompass everything that is going on," said Jason Eberhardt, vice president of strategic alliances at Chicago-based Conventus, a longtime Symantec partner. "It's been interesting this last year or two with all the changes, but with the excitement and the possibility, it's like were laying down the yellow brick road and now it's time to cross it. ... There's nothing that can stand in our way right now."

When reached out to by CRN, Symantec did not comment on the operational split.

Symantec took the occasion of the operational split to officially launch its new channel partner program.

’With an increased focus on cybersecurity and a strengthened portfolio aimed squarely at solutions that address today’s most sophisticated attackers, we’re rolling out Symantec Secure One to enable our partners to leverage our products and services to grow their businesses,’ John Thompson, global senior vice president of partner and channel sales, said in a statement. ’At its core, the enhanced program provides our partners with a clear path to take advantage of the innovation and growth we expect to drive as the world’s largest cybersecurity company.’

First reported by CRN in September, the new security-focused partner program, called Symantec Secure One, features three metal tiers: Platinum, Gold and Silver. Within those tiers, there are two categories of resell and integrate that a partner can pursue to move up the ranks.

The big change in the new partner program, according to the company, is simplified competency and certification requirements, achieved by consolidating core competency requirements for core security, threat protection, information protection and cybersecurity services. Partners move up the tiers of the program by hitting sales goals and achieving a certain number of qualified specialists in the different competencies. That makes it easier for partners to move up the tiers to Platinum, the company said.

Changes also were rolled out to the margin structure for the program, with a new Growth Accelerator Rebate (GAR) that pays partners on the first transaction and ramps up margins from there. Symantec said that translates to 50 percent more earning potential for partners per quarter.

Conventus' Eberhardt cheered the changes, saying Symantec took feedback from longstanding partners and turned it into action without completely overhauling the program.

"They are not changing the partner program, they are manipulating it. This is another thing that makes me very excited. ... Not only do they talk to strategic partners like ourselves to get feedback but they're only manipulating the things that we've said to make changes," Eberhardt said.

In particular, Eberhardt said, he likes the adjustments to deal registration that allow partners to collaborate more and help clients together.

"They're taking out the things that would keep us from doing business successfully," Eberhardt said.

Eberhardt said he respects the Symantec leadership and is excited to see where the company will head after the split is final at the end of the year. The changes the company has made already reflect what he expects Symantec to do more of down the road, he said.

"The thing that's exciting about the split is they’ve made a strategic move that will benefit both the partner community and the clients abroad. ... With this split it gives them focus for development to strategically build their products and give them the ability to focus on their products and partners," he continued.