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Symantec enters phase two of channel plan

Phase two of Symantec's global unified channel plan has been kicked off with the launch of a global sales expert program and some changes to the partner locator portion of the program.

The Symantec Sales Expert program, or SSE, will consist of five free sales training modules and assessments through Symantec’s online partner portal, PartnerNet, followed by an additional 13 courses that will be made available on this month in a phased-in approach.

The training modules are: Symantec Control Compliance Suite, Symantec Bindview Policy Manager, Symantec IM Manager, Symantec Mail Security for SMTP and Symantec Configuration Manager.

The modules include Symantec Antivirus, Symantec Client Security, Veritas NetBackup, Veritas Storage Foundation, Symantec Sygate Enterprise Protection, Symantec Backup Exec System Recovery.

The one-hour courses also take into account regional and market segmentation requirements for partners.

“This is a milestone in the evolving Symantec partner program,” said Fred Patterson, director, enterprise channels for Symantec (Canada) Corp., “and the big news is besides the Veritas purchase it will include the others acquisitions such as Sygate, IMLogic, Bindview, Relicore and Whole Security.

“We put the program together in bite size chunks that can be digested.”

Extra margin
Ron Tonts, president and founder of XSM Systems Inc., a Vancouver-based solution provider, has four of his employees in the program already.

He said the SSE program helps his staff in addressing customer problems and how to better position his solutions against competitors.

“In the Enterprise Vault products for e-mail archiving, compliance and governance, we have a number of folks trained and have done 90 per cent of the installs for that product. It is a great reference base and it drives extra margins and adds value to our company,” Tonts said.

The new courses will focus on point solutions rather than entire solutions sets. The reason for this is that Symantec wants to streamline the process for partners so they can achieve SSE accreditation on the company’s portfolio of security and availability products faster.

When completed, partners earn the SSE status and can place the logo on business cards, proposals and Web sites.

“There’s been a lot of discussion around solutions and a broader terminology approach, but the feedback we received was that the partners wanted point product sales training,” he said.

He added that Symantec will honour current partner certifications.

However, partners who are confident in their knowledge of the product can complete the assessment without completing the course to accelerate their time to accreditation for SSE status.

Phase 2 will also see Symantec expand its partner locator eligibility to include Silver partners.

The partner locator’s advanced search engine is also being refined to include markets and product specific VARs, he said.