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Symantec announces partner enhancements and programs

New resources and programs are meant to help Symantec partners boost sales and customer relationship opportunities

ORLANDO-Symantec Corp. (NASDAQ: SYMC) used its annual Partner Engage conference, held here, to introduce four new partner-related enhancements and programs designed to increase revenue opportunities for its channels.

These additions include SymDemo, a virtualized, Web-based demo and training platform, the Enterprise Authorized Renewals Program, a new Partner Community on Symantec Connect and a new Enterprise Security Specialization.

Randy Cochran, vice-president of North American channel sales at Symantec, explained that as part of the company’s commitment to partners, Symantec continues to deliver “innovative, revenue-generating programs” to its channels.

“We want to foster community and collaboration and continue to provide education to help enhance our partners’ relevance with their customers,” Cochran said. “In addition to our programs, we focus on delivering a broad product portfolio to help extend revenue opportunities and further strengthen reputation with customers.”

SymDemo is designed to strengthen Symantec’s relationship with its partners, who in turn, will strengthen their relationships with customers, Cochran explained.

The new demo and training Web-based and virtualized platform lets partners demonstrate or test Symantec products at any time and from anywhere, as long as they have an active Internet connection. The goal of SymDemo is to facilitate a faster sales cycle, Cochran added.

Due to its virtual-nature, SymDemo allows partners to run multiple virtual sessions simultaneously during any given demonstration.

Symantec currently offers over 20 of its products through SymDemo, which is currently in its pilot phase. The platform is expected to launch sometime in early 2010 and will be available to any partner who’s enrolled in the Symantec Partner Program, certified on the product(s) they want to demo.

To help its partners more effectively fulfill their renewals with customers, Symantec has introduced its Enterprise Authorized Renewal Program.

“We’re not launching a new process but rather, we’re enhancing an existing program,” Cochran said. “This is meant to help protect (our) partners’ investments in Symantec.”

The program honours the incumbent partner’s investment by offering the reseller an increased discount on the renewal, he said.

The program is available to the company’s North American partner base. In Canada, the program is open to partners who are enrolled in the Symantec Authorized products program, in the Silver, Gold, or Platinum levels, and who have also signed a Direct Reseller Addendum, Cochran said.

The Enterprise Authorized Renewals Process is a way for partners to know when renewals are coming up so they can get the sales, Cochran explained. The program is currently in its pilot stage and will be made available to partners later this year.

To help foster and promote further collaboration amongst partners, end-users and it, Symantec has also launched a new Partner Community as part of its online community, Symantec Connect.

“The Symantec Partner Community helps connect partners and business customers with us,” Cochran said. “The community provides business and technical information all in one place through the forms of forums, blogs and other activities.”

The Partner Community is available now and has 160,000 registered users to date. It is available to all Symantec partners, free of charge.

Symantec’s Enterprise Security Specialization helps enable partners better differentiate themselves in the market, Cochran said.

The specialization provides partners with the appropriate tools they need to more effectively go after the security market he added.

“The specialization provides partners with an opportunity to have improved profitability and differentiation,” Cochran said. “Partners can leverage incentives, specialized content, information and resources to help them build more effective security solutions for their customers.”

In order to qualify for this specialization, partners must be enrolled in Symantec’s partner program and be a Global Strategic Partner, Platinum, Platinum Corporate Reseller, Gold, or Silver-level channel partner. To obtain this specialization, partners must also achieve product accreditations on Symantec’s Endpoint Protection, Network Access Control, Protection Suite and Brightmail Gateway products.

The Symantec Enterprise Security Specialization will be made available later this month to partners, Cochran added.

“These new offerings demonstrate our commitment to helping make our partners more successful in the coming year,” Cochran said.

With the introduction of these new resources and programs, Fred Patterson, director of enterprise channels for Symantec in Canada, says he hopes to further extend Symantec’s reach in Canada.

“I’ll be trying to expand my reach further through partners like distribution to independent selling partners who deliver solutions mostly to the small business market,” Patterson said. “These independent partners include small organizations and even the larger regional ones that we may not have a large profile with right now.”

In Canada, Patterson says he’ll be looking for more partner representation in areas such as mid-Western Canada, out East, and in Quebec. However, he says there is still room for expansion in the B.C., Alberta, and Ontario provinces, as well.