Symantec Canada (NASDAQ: SYMC) held its first town hall meeting in Toronto on Tuesday as part of its five-city road show tour across the country to help bring partners up to speed on the company’s products and plans.
Fred Patterson, director of channels at Symantec Canada, welcomed partners from around the greater Toronto area to the first of what he said the company hopes will be a “continuing series of town hall meets.”
The cross-country road show tour is going now and is expected to touch “hundreds” of channel partners across the country. In addition to its Toronto stop, the tour will also stop in Ottawa, Montreal, Vancouver and Calgary.
Tricia Atchison, senior director of marketing, channel, mid-market and strategic partners, Americas marketing at Symantec, said the town hall meet is a way for the vendor to better engage with its partner community.
Patterson added, “We’ll touch hundreds of partners over the next five days. A good proportion of those are partners we don’t see all the time, so this is an opportunity to share new information with them and make sure they understand what we’re doing with our partner program and with our vision and strategy.”
“I think the town hall is a great idea and the more (events) there are like this, the more it keeps us in the loop and energized,” he said.
While there were no new announcements made at the event, Patterson and other Symantec executives provided an extensive overview of the company’s vision and current partner opportunities.
Patterson reminded partner town hall attendees of Symantec’s continued commitment to them by giving the example of the company evolving its services strategy to a partner-led one last year.
“We rely upon our partners to do delivery for us,” Patterson said. “We will not be competing for our partners for services. Our goal is to help you differentiate your business, maximize your opportunities and accelerate your profitability.”
Patterson also spoke about the value of obtaining specializations from Symantec, which has nine practice areas now: endpoint management, storage management, high availability, data protection, IT compliance, data loss prevention, encryption, enterprise security and archive and e-discovery. From a customer segment perspective, Symantec also has its SMB specialization available for partners as well, he added.
In terms of its channel marketing plans for fiscal year 2012, Patterson said Symantec’s marketing programs will be based on specializations and marketing megatrends, which the company identifies as being virtualization, cloud and mobility. Patterson also said moving forward, the company and its partners “really need to drive reach in the small and medium-sized enterprise accounts.”
“This is where partners can drive new opportunities and reach for us,” he said. “Over the past couple of years, we’ve stepped up our focus on the SMB market. We’re seeing positive results and greater adoption of data protection solutions from this customer segment and greater adoption of our solutions and participation in …our SMB specialization.”
Patterson also mentioned that even with its focus on the SMB, large enterprise customers “will continue to be a mainstay of focus from our organization,” he said. “At Symantec, we see the mid-market in Canada represented by anywhere from 100-2000 employees, but we find the sweet spot is between 500-1500.”
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