Symantec claims committed resellers focused on generating new business will grow richer under its new competency-based partner programme.
Talking to CRN, vice president of channel EMEA Mark Nutt said the fact the new scheme is being launched on schedule shows its channel strategy has not been thrown off course by the corporate tumult that saw Symantec fire its chief executive in March.
Launched yesterday, it is based on feedback from more than 90 partners in over 25 countries, Nutt said.
Partners have until October to migrate to the new programme, which sees the introduction of new competencies aligned to 12 customer problems (displayed below). It is also Symantec's first global partner programme.
Nutt (pictured) said the old regime, which was based around a smaller number of technical specialisms, was too complex and did not incentivise partners to display the correct behaviour.
"It's really important to say what we have not done is sat in Mountain View or Reading and worked on this programme in isolation," he said.
"We have had a change in leadership but not the leadership team and we are certainly not changing our strategy or plan. We have a strong plan and are in the execution phase of that. We are more committed than ever and the fact we're pushing on and launching our programme on 5 May is evidence of that."
Eligible partners will have access to a new rebate of up to eight per cent if they reach and exceed new business revenue targets. A new renewals performance incentive, offering a rebate of up to two per cent of a partner's renewal business, has also been introduced. Partners can also earn up to 20 per cent extra through a new opportunity registration programme and apply for development funds of five per cent.
Unlike the old specialisms, the new competencies reflect not only a reseller's technical nous but - in an effort to improve the customer experience - also their skills around sales and marketing, their revenue and their customer references. Each will be divided into a principal and expert tier.
Asked whether partners will earn more or less under the new regime, Nutt pledged that committed partners targeting new business will take home more margin.
"The feedback from partners who have gone through that exercise with us is that, if as a company they are growing, building capabilities around Symantec and going out to recruit new customers, they will earn more money," he said. "If their business is flat, they are not investing in their capabilities and the majority of their business with us is based around renewals, their revenue with us could be flat or even decline."
Nutt repeated his earlier declaration that Symantec is looking for partners that are committed to the vendor, a message that was welcomed by some of its top partners.
Dermot Williams, managing director of Symantec Platinum partner Threatscape Security Solutions, said: "Part of the pitch to partners is they want to work more closely with a smaller subset of very committed partners and that fits well with our business model. We want to be an inch wide and a mile thick and we have a small number of vendors of which Symantec is a key part."
However, Nigel Lewis, director at another Symantec Platinum partner, Computer Security Technology, questioned the need for change.
"I'm unsure as to why Symantec are changing it," he said. "I keep hearing it wasn't fit for purpose but have never got an explanation as to what they meant by that."
Nutt claimed partners had generally fed back that they wanted change.
"Some of the key messages we got was that we had too many programmes, and that added to the complexity of engaging with us," he said. "They also wanted us to be clearer on what we incentivise them to do and the old programme didn't necessarily incentivise the right behaviours."
He added: "This isn't about driving more partners or reducing them, but sustaining profitable growth partnerships. As we move to the 12 new competencies, we will be protecting partners' investment in the specialisms and helping them as they go through that transition."
Data Security Competency
Dynamic Storage and Continuity Competency
Endpoint Management Competency
Endpoint Security Competency
Enterprise Backup and Recovery Competency
Gateway Security Competency
Market Backup and Recovery Competency
Security Monitoring and Management Competency
Website Security Competency
A summary of what you get if you subscribe to our premium market intelligence service
Matthew Polly says CrowdStrike is looking to branch out from the UK and into mainland Europe
Southampton-based VAR states that further acquisitions are in the pipeline
With UKFast launching a public cloud consultancy, Tom Wright asks if this is the way forward for all local hosting providers