CRN Exclusive: Symantec Revamps Secure One Partner Program To Integrate Blue Coat Systems Partners

Symantec is moving to officially integrate its two partner ecosystems following its blockbuster acquisition of Blue Coat Systems with the announcement Wednesday of a revamped Secure One partner program.

Symantec closed on its $4.65 billion acquisition of Blue Coat Systems in August, creating a single vendor with endpoint, email, DLP, data center, cloud security and secure web gateway solutions. The new Secure One partner program, which will take effect April 1, is the latest step to integrate the two companies.

The Secure One partner program has two competencies: Core Security and Enterprise Security, each includes three metal tiers. The Core Security competency remains unchanged from the previous Secure One partner program and includes the endpoint, email, web, advanced threat protection, encryption, cyber skills development, VIP access manager, internet of things and ghost portfolios. The Enterprise Security competency includes the Blue Coat portfolio, as well as DLP, user authentication, managed security services, incident response, security intelligence, endpoint management and data center security.

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The tiering requirements for the competencies include minimum booking requirements for each of the silver, gold and platinum partners, with additional accreditation requirements for gold and platinum Enterprise Security partners. Enterprise Security partners can choose to specialize in a certain technology area or get a broad range of security accreditations.

The updates build on the Secure One partner program Symantec first launched in September 2015 to position it to be a standalone security vendor after its divestiture of storage business Veritas. Vice President of Worldwide Partner Sales Torjus Gylstorff said the latest update is focused on bringing together the two partner ecosystems into a program that focuses on predictability, transparency and margins.

"We want to improve the partner experience," Gylstorff said. "We're merging two different programs with two different infrastructures and access points, and we want to make sure that, as we're going to market, that we are going to market with a consistent single interface that reduces the amount of complexity required to do business with us."

Gylstorff said the combined partner program would allow partners to get access to a larger portfolio of solutions, opening up the door for better cross-sell and up-sell opportunities. He said the program also opens up more advanced security solutions to the SMB market, where they were not previously available.

The new Secure One partner program puts an emphasis on front-end discounts, versus back-end rebates for partners. Partners will receive discount incentives for deal registration and renewal incumbency. Platinum and gold partners will also receive development funds, and platinum partners can get a platinum performance rebate.

"In general we want to increase the amount of opportunities to earn margin, but we want to increase the opportunity learn with the requirement of the partner to build skills, grow their business and execute on strategic plays in the market and for the company," Gylstorff said.

Gylstorff said Symantec is in the process of reviewing the revenue requirements for each tier in advance of the April 1 launch date, though he anticipated merging the two partner program structures to go fairly smoothly as both programs already had three tiers.

Symantec will continue to "fine tune" the program after the April 1 launch date, Gylstorff said, as well as add tactical initiates. However, he said the announcement Wednesday will serve as the foundation for the integrated Symantec-Blue Coat partner program.

"We are very enthusiastic about what we are bringing to the market here. I think we're touching upon the key elements that our partners are looking for to get our response to," Gylstorff said.