Symantec steps up certified partner ranks

Symantec steps up certified partner ranks

Symantec is making an aggressive play to have half of its casual resellers signed up to its certified partner program in the next 12 months.

Symantec currently has about 1000 regular business partners in Australia, ranging from IBM Global Services and Dimension Data down to small whitebox builders. It deals with about 6000 resellers ad-hoc. Vice-president of global channels, Julie Parrish, was bullish on transitioning many of these across to its certified program.

"I'm going to put a stake in the ground here and say that I'd like to covert half that number in 2007," she said.

Symantec has outlined several new partner program initiatives for the New Year. These include flicking the switch on a new points-based system enabling partners to see how they are tracking against Symantec metrics.

"We are heavily focused on the automation of the partner program and ensuring we have a system in place for partners to understand where they are within the program," Parrish said. "Revenue, training and driving market demand are how we measure our partners. This system will let partners log in and see what they need to do to get to the next level."

Earlier this year, the security vendor also opened up its silver, gold and platinum partner levels to resellers across specific market segments.

"We have already gone through an extensive consultation process with partners from different segments in the channel," Symantec vice-president, channels, Asia-Pacific and Japan, John Donovan, said. "This has also enabled us to get some feedback on what our customers are doing so we can give them not only what they want, but something better than our competitors, too."

Both Parrish and Donovan agreed, however, that the key ingredient was ensuring resellers were well trained while also driving demand for its software.

"I think resellers are looking for who's got the best portfolio, who's made the right R&D investments and who's got a channel strategy that won't go changing next month," Parrish said. "Symantec has always been a channel-centric vendor."

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