In keeping up with the rapid changes that are happening in the channel, IT security specialist Symantec Corp. has announced the evolution of the Symantec Partner Programme (SPP), designed to help partners build competitive advantage, improve recognition, and increase profitability. The enhanced Symantec Partner Programme is based on a specialist model, which rewards the knowledge and experience a partner has in a solution area or market.
With the enhanced Partner Program, Symantec also announced the upcoming introduction to the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) market a Master Specialisation category and rolled out four new specialisations, designed to empower partners to deliver greater value to customers.
The enhanced Symantec Partner Program recognises partners’ investment in Symantec, as well as Symantec’s commitment to its partners. According to the vendor, specialised partners will be rewarded with preferential commercial terms, deal protection via new a teaming plan, exclusive access to Symantec resources, enhanced enablement, and recognition by Symantec and customers.
Frans Knuver, director and owner of Open Solution Providers, believes the focus of Symantec’s new partner programme, being a deeper knowledge of partners on specific solutions, is an excellent fit with the company’s drive to deliver the best quality. “Our knowledge of Symantec solutions is a key differentiator for us as a value-added partner. Symantec clearly understands and recognises this with the launch of the new partner programme,” Knuver says.
Specialisations together with performance in Symantec’s Opportunity Registration system will be required to attain Silver, Gold, and Platinum status under the enhanced programme. Many partners may already possess qualifications toward specialisations, based on accreditations their personnel have already earned. Historical Opportunity Registration performance will also be counted. Partners in EMEA will have 12 months to transition to the improved programme and meet the requirements needed to maintain their partner level.
New Master Specialisations
In addition to the enhanced partner programme, Symantec is also announcing the future availability of Master Specialisations, a new category in the broader offering of the Symantec Partner Programme which recognises and promotes partners with advanced consulting, technical, and service capabilities in a specialised solution area. This new Specialisation category is part of Symantec’s partner-led consulting services model, which offers partners increased scalability to meet customer requirements, reduces channel conflicts, and creates opportunities for greater licence sales potential.
Ramzi Itani, regional channel and alliance director, says much is changing within the EMEA channel partner community, especially around value-added services, market specialisation, and business value. “Symantec’s partner programme enhancements recognise these changes by offering our partners more opportunities while maximising returns from their Symantec investment,” he says.
Itani adds that Symantec will be piloting Master Specialisations prior to launching across all solution areas in April 2011.
Dirk Martin, managing partner at PMCS, a Symantec solution provider partner says being the first Symantec Partner in EMEA to have received two specialisations in the new enhanced Symantec Partner Programme, the company has been able to evaluate the benefits of the new programme for several months now. “For us as a partner that focuses on delivering the complete solution value chain including consulting, implementation, and support, the programme has proven itself a great way to leverage our investments into Symantec by protecting the value we create while helping us demonstrate our capabilities to the customer,” he says. “We can better differentiate ourselves in the market, increase our profitability and grow our business on that.”
The security major states that the new specialisations are aligned to partner business models and are aimed at recognising partners with advanced knowledge and experience in a solution area or market segment and rewards them with special terms, privileges, and support from the Symantec Partner Programme.
Itani explains that Symantec is introducing four new specialisations namely Enterprise Security, Data Protection, High Availability and Storage Management. According to the company, the introduction of these new four specialisations bring to seven specialisations that Symantec is offering its partners in EMEA, with three more to follow in late 2010 and early 2011.
The Enterprise Security Specialisation recognises partners who have proven their ability to deliver and support endpoint, email, Web, network and server security solutions and capture business opportunities created by the growing range, sophistication, and focus of internal and external IT threats. The Data Protection Specialisation on the other hand, recognises partners who have proven their ability to deliver effective solutions to help protect their customers’ business information and systems, and capture business opportunities from the transformation of a large, established market.
For the High Availability Specialisation, partners will recognised if they demonstrate their ability to help protect their customers’ applications and data against unplanned downtime and take advantage of business opportunities created by server virtualisation.
As for the Storage Management Specialisation, partners recognised here will have to prove their ability to help their customers manage data growth and improve storage utilisation and take advantage of business opportunities created by explosive data growth.
Urs Tschudin, CEO Infoniqa SQL AG, a Symantec solution provider says Symantec has realised that committed partners need to be better supported in their work. “With SSP 2.0 our investments in new Symantec customer projects are better protected and rewarded than ever,” he says.
Bertrand Bombes de Villiers, sales and marketing director at Antemeta, another Symantec partner adds that through their specialisations, Symantec recognises its partners’ investments and demonstrates commitment to them. “This new programme will allow us to work even more closely, and increase both our added value and our profitability,” he says.
Sèan M. O’Brien, DVV Solutions Limited, a Symantec Enterprise security partner says: “We have been a long time advocate of Symantec Security solutions and have specialised in the Symantec Enterprise Security space for a number of years. With the introduction of the specialisation programme we can now see a significant change in both Symantec and the marketplace. Increased interactions with Symantec’s technical experts has given us the confidence to invest upfront in each new opportunity, not only in Symantec’s specialisation programme, but also in additional staff and training.”
Navalesi Andrea of Sinergy, echoes similar sentiments and goes on to say that the new Symantec Partner Programme is very interesting because is a strategic view of the future, not a tactical one. “The Symantec Partner Prorgamme rewards partners that invest in specialisation and are generating incremental business for Symantec. I’m very interested in Master specialisation in order to better deliver Symantec solutions,” Andrea concludes.
Security software powerhouse Symantec has enhanced its partner programme to include a specialisation model that rewards partner expertise in solution areas and growth markets.