Exclusive: Symantec’s two-pronged approach to the channel

Exclusive: Symantec’s two-pronged approach to the channel

A/NZ MD, Ian McAdam lays out partner strategy for the coming year

Symantec managing director Pacific, Ian McAdam, on stage at the 2015 ARN Awards

Symantec managing director Pacific, Ian McAdam, on stage at the 2015 ARN Awards

IT security vendor, Symantec, has a new plan of attack to bolster its channel business in 2016 according to the company’s managing director Australia and New Zealand, Ian McAdam.

Still relatively new to the role after being appointed in July 2015, McAdam said one of his major objectives since joining the company has been to devise a channel strategy to support the existing community and attract new types.

“We have a two-pronged attack,” he said.

“We need to take some of the innovations that have been brought down by the US, like our advanced protection model, and adapt those to the Australian Market. We need to take those technologies and customise them from a services perspective for Australia.

“The other side is how we deal with partners in the channel community. I have been engaging with a number of new partners that Symantec would traditionally not have worked with and we have started to get some traction.”

McAdam developed a strategy to attract partners that have a high level of security competency as well as those with less technical skill.

“What I have done is broken up the market into advisory elements in companies like Deloitte and the tier two systems integrators such as ASG that have a trusted advisor element to their business but the security knowledge is not quite what it could be.

He explained his focus had been to develop separate engagement strategies for both types of new partners based on the needs of each business model.

“We structured the way we wanted to attach ourselves to the partner community because it is quite symbiotic in different ways. The way you would engage with Deloitte is different to the way you engage with ASG in that example.”

McAdam stressed the importance to Symantec of an intelligent approach to each segment of the channel community without having overlap in services and engagement.

“We still have a wide distribution network and a lot of channel partners, that does not change. It’s about getting smart with how each individual partner plays at the level they work in and helping them as best we can.”

The approach is based the company’s recently revamped channel program announced in October 2015 and McAdam said the rebates for partners were more predictable under the new scheme and allowed partners to more accurately budget for remuneration.

“There is remuneration from dollar zero, partners don’t have to ramp up and get their tiering level up before they see the rebates,” he explained.

McAdam added partner feedback had been positive due to the flexibility the new model gave in the products they could choose from Symantec’s portfolio as it made incentives more accessible for deployments of all sizes.

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