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Symantec offers security blueprint

Symantec is releasing a new portfolio of security and availability products specifically for the small- to mid-sized marketplace. With this release, the Cupertino, Calif.-based firm wants to target the system builder community in North America as an SMB go-to-market route.

Available to the more than 200,000 worldwide system builders is a new channel program called Global Symantec System Builder Program that will deliver branded security and availability products in an OEM-type model.Julie Parrish, Symantec’s worldwide channel chief, said the company does have presence with the system builders, but it recognized that this channel is critical to SMB customers and wanted to formalize a plan around them.

“The main benefit is price. We want to help solution providers build more margins into their deals than the basic dealer does,” Parrish said.

She said Symantec is not necessarily interested in every system builder around the world. In the Americas they are looking to sign up several thousand white box makers.

She said sometimes customers do not know they are using white box PCs. For example, a POS system, which includes a cash register, scanning equipment and some desktops and laptops to run the business. The solution provider partners with a white box builder on the hardware and its there where the system builder can integrate back up, recovery and security software.

Symantec’s new SMB security portfolio consists of Symantec Backup Exec 11, Symantec Ghost Solution 2,0 and a new Anti-Virus 10.2.

Parrish said Symantec pegs the SMB segment as a customer with 10 to 1,000 employees that are predominantly Windows-centric and are looking for scalable Windows solutions. She said one of the key challenges with this market is helping the customer retain a lot of its existing IT infrastructure.

“I have yet to meet a customer that was not cost conscious and the time frame for ROI has gotten shorter. They are looking for specific productivity gains,” she said. From her research, customers are demanding ROI in 30 days, which is down from the standard 90-day period.

Back Up Exec 11d will now have disk to tape back up for Exchange and SQL Server, which she said will lead to more productivity gains because the software has shortened back up and recovery.

Meanwhile Ghost 2.0 and Anti Virus 10.2 is ready for Vista migration.

Another new initiative from Symantec is an SMB security product blueprint that is intended as a guide to help customers and solution providers. The SMB blueprint addresses several Symantec products in these areas: data security and availability, system security and availability, application security and availability and policy compliance management.

“What’s important is that you will see a lot of product names and it’s not straight-forward enough for customers to understand what they need in a Windows infrastructure to ensure that they are protected. This blueprint helps them to step through this process,” she said.