Symantec expects to have signed up 650 Specialist partners in EMEA by the time it stands down its old partner programme in November.
The vendor launched a new competency-based partner programme last November and gave partners a year to migrate across. The new regime sees partners classified based on the volume of deals they register and the number of the nine new Specialisations they hold, rather than raw sales.
Jason Ellis, vice president of EMEA channels at Symantec, said a steady stream of partners are currently going through the final "field readiness" stage.
"We are aiming to sign up 1,200 specialists this year across EMEA and 650 by November," he said.
The new programme applies only to Symantec's higher-level solutions and Ellis stressed the vendor had also ploughed heavy investment into its Small Business Specialist partner programme.
This includes the introduction of an automated deal registration programme that enables partners to register an opportunity in less than two minutes and get an upfront discount on the order.
A new higher-level partner certification, Master, which sits above each of the nine specialisms, was launched in April. Ellis said about 20 partners had already made the grade and that numbers were set to hit about 65 by November.
Masters must invest heavily in dedicated consulting and design skills. In return, they will be handed high-margin consultancy work by the security giant as it looks to move to a collaborative selling model for services.
"Masters are also available to provide services to the other partners," added Ellis.
Cognitive Network Solutions recently became the first UK partner to clinch a Master badge for Data Protection.
Ian Stinton, managing director of Cognitive Network Solutions, said: "Master Specialisation is a great endorsement of Cognitive Network Solutions'
consulting services, demonstrating that Symantec's high standards in technology deployment have been met.
To be the first Master Specialised partner in Data Protection in the UK at present is demonstrative of significant expertise and it gives us a unique position in the market."
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