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Symantec enters phase two of channel program

Security and availability developer launches a global sales training initiative

Phase two of Symantec’s global unified channel plan kicked off today 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, consists 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 starting in phases on Aug. 4.

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 Aug. 4 modules will 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, and the big news is besides the Veritas purchase it will include the others acquisitions such as Sygate, IMLogic, Bindview, Relicore and Whole Security,” said Fred Patterson, director, enterprise channels for Symantec (Canada) Corp, based in Toronto. “We put the program together in bite size chunks that can be digested.”

The new courses will focus on point solutions rather than entire solutions sets. The reason is that Symantec wants to streamline the process so partners 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 or in proposals or on Web sites,” Patterson said.

“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 added that Symantec will honour current partner certifications. When those certifications expire those partners will be required to get the new courses, he said.

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

This phase 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.

Patterson was unable to pinpoint how many partners this will impact in Canada. However, he did say that Symantec’s channel community differentiates his company in the market and helps it get business it could not attain on its own.

He added that the level of complexity in the solutions being delivered today is another aspect to the changes in the program.

“Nothing is getting simpler with problems customers face and their information has to be protected, Patterson said.”Definitely security has changed from just a year or two ago, which means more education needs to be pushed out to partners so they can capitalize on the complexity.”