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Symantec asks VARs to open their minds

Palm Springs, Calif. - It has been just over a year since Symantec officially closed its merger with Veritas.

During that time, Symantec also acquired five other firms (Sygate, IMLogic, BindView, Relicore and Whole Security) to position itself in both the data security and availability markets.

“If you are a partner that is deep and knowledgeable on security or availability I am asking you to open your minds wider to what are the logical extensions, to what you can add on,” Randy Cochran, vice-president of channel sales, said.

Symantec boasts a portfolio of more than 100 products. Cochran admits that partners will be unable to be proficient in all. He expects, however, the channel to handle between 12 and 15 products up from the five or six they know well today.

Cochran believes logical product extensions are a way for VARs to increase margins, expand its customer footprint, and increase services offerings.

“We are not opportunity constrained,” he said. Symantec’s Opportunity Registration plan pays front and back end margins, he said.

According to Tom Kendra, group president of worldwide sales, the product extension plan can work in steps. Companies require anti-virus protection, he said — in Symantec’s case it offers a number of versions of the Norton brand. From there companies should back up their data (BackUp Exec). “Now things start to happen as you deal with larger companies with license compliance regulation issues especially those public companies that need to manage this,” Kendra said.

IDC and AMI have forecast that the compliance market is worth US$12 billion and is growing at a 17 per cent clip.

Symantec has 60,000 partners worldwide. An estimated 250 of its top VARs are here, representing more than 75 per cent of its US$5.4 billion revenue.

Partner is supportive
Harry Zarek, president and CEO of Compugen Systems of Toronto, said everything Symantec officials spoke about on day one of the conference was relevant to his organization and his customer’s needs.

“The challenge with compliance is it is ever changing and companies can’t be experts in all these areas. They will be looking to us to provide a role and we need to be backed up by world class software vendors. Symantec has stepped up as a partner,” Zarek said.

Another area of product extension is e-mail archiving, which relates to compliance. IDC pegs this market to be at US$6 billion within the next four years and Jeremy Burton, senior vice-president of data management for Symantec, believes Symantec can win more than a billion dollars of that pie.

“Companies big and small have to get better at managing their e-mail,” Burton said.