Symantec is planning to become a more ‘channel friendly’ vendor in the coming year, according to the security and storage giant’s channel chief.
The firm is also in the finishing stages of launching its first dedicated system builder programme and is busy recruiting integrator partners on a global scale.
Julie Parrish, vice-president of global channels, told CRN that the vendor is reaping the benefits from its investment in unifying the businesses and channel programmes of Symantec and Veritas following the merger in 2004 (CRN, 20 December 2004).
“We are starting to see a strong pay off for all that effort,” she said. “Particularly in training – which has grown on a global basis from 1,400 partners a month to nearly 3,500 a month.”
Parrish said the firm is also seeing a much greater engagement with partners, with a 90 per cent increase in VARs logging into its revamped extranet site.
The vendor has invested heavily in its partner locator tool, which matches resellers up with the appropriate customer depending on vertical focus and skillsets.
However, Parrish admitted the vendor still has considerable work to do where the channel is concerned.
“Over the next year we want to move from being a channel-centric vendor to being a channel-friendly vendor where programmes and policies are optimised for how partners do business with us,” she added. “We are working hard to understand exactly where we need to make changes for the benefit of our channel partners and where their pain points are.”
She added Symantec was not planning any changes to its distribution strategy.
Sean O’Brien, managing director of VAR DVV Solutions, said Symantec was definitely on the right track.
“I think it is doing all the right things and we have made sure that we are fully accredited in both its security and storage/availability products,” he said. “However, if many of their channel partners were asked if they have truly integrated the Veritas and Symantec product sets than the answer would probably be no.
“Overall it still has a bit of work to do with both their channel partners and products.”
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