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Symantec offers security blueprint

Company to target thousands of system builders with new channel plan

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

Available today to the more than 200,000 worldwide system builders, the new Global Symantec System Builder Program will deliver branded security and availability products in an OEM-type model to white-box builders.

Julie Parrish, Symantec’s worldwide channel chief, said the company already has presence with 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, and that is really what is needed in the market. We want to help solution providers build more margins into their deals than the basic dealer does,” Parrish said.

Parrish added that Symantec is not necessarily interested in every system builder around the world. In the Americas, though, it is looking to sign up several thousand white box makers.

She said sometimes customers do not even know they are using white box computers. For example, customers could use a partner for 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 it’s there where a 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 customers with 10 to 1,000 employees that are predominantly Windows-centric and looking for scalable Windows solutions. She added that 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 dramatically 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 believes will lead to more productivity gains because the software has shortened back up and recovery windows.

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

Another initiative from Symantec is an SMB product blueprint for customers and solution providers. It 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 to make sure data is backed up and then go onto the next step which is system level recovery for servers and desktops,” Parrish said.

The blueprint can also help partners become trusted advisors, she added.

“Until this blueprint came out, they would see a lot of messaging in the market place. The blueprint serves as a guide on how to help their customers scale their business,” Parrish said.