Partner Engage 2010: Symantec encourages channel specialisation

Partner Engage 2010: Symantec encourages channel specialisation

A strong emphasis is being placed on partner specialisation rather than revenue achieved

Symantec is placing a greater emphasis on partner capabilities and competence as it overhauls its partner program.

The software vendor has shifted its focus towards recognising partner expertise in particular areas of business. In the Asia-Pacific region, Symantec offers specialisations around SMB, endpoint management and data loss prevention.

Specialisations will be key for partners to move up the program ladder, and revenue requirements will be removed. Existing tiers such as Registered, Silver, Gold and Platinum will be maintained.

Symantec’s regional vice-president for channel and SMB, David Dzienciol, said the company will give partners until December to attain specialisations suited to their business, which is when the new changes will be enforced. Archive and discovery specialisations will be released later this quarter.

“We've already got a mature partner program, but how do we make it more effective and beneficial for our partners?” he said. “Specialisations are the cornerstone of our partnering and program strategy. We believe driving this strategy around specialisation will help partners differentiate, maximise and accelerate their profitability.”

The enhancements will see partners gain more access to sales and technical resources, exclusive benefits and financial incentives. The more specialisations a partner achieves, the greater benefits it can attain, Dzienciol said.

To become a Master specialist, partners will need to achieve four specialisations, or they can select individual core specialisations.

Platinum and Gold status organisations will receive greater access to Symantec's Opportunity Registration program and their logo will be displayed on the partner locator tool. Where partners achieve specific specialisations, their logo will also be featured.

On top of this, partners will gain access to specific marketing campaigns and programs.

“The real focus behind the enhancements is the greater investment, the greater the benefit,” Dzienciol said. “By having more specialisations and participating in more market opportunities, we believe our partners can be more competitive in their local market and accelerate their business.”

Throughout Asia-Pacific, Symantec has about 5000 partners, and 375 of them hold Gold and Platinum status. More than 60 per cent of the vendor’s revenue is derived from them, according to Dzienciol.

Dimension Data general manager of solutions, Duncan Brown, said the enhancements to the program allowed it to choose specialisations to differentiate against competitors. It also offered the customer what they are looking for in a particular solutions set that's going to meet their requirements, he said.

The specialisations could be a positive way to demonstrate to customers why they would choose DiData to not just do the consulting and design, but also the deployment, management and operation of the environment, Brown said.

Julia Talevski attended the Symantec Partner Engage Asia-Pacific and Japan conference as a guest of Symantec.

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