Symantec opens services play to the mid-market

Wanting to provide its partners with more choice and flexibility in how they deliver solutions to their customers, Symantec Corp. (NASDAQ: SYMC) has enhanced its ExSP Licensing Program.

Fred Patterson, director of enterprise channels at Symantec Canada, said the four-year old program has been enhanced to enable partners to engage and connect with their customers in a “longer term and more services-oriented way.”

Before the program enhancements, Patterson said the ExSP Licensing Program was largely utilized by the company’s large ISPs (Internet Service Providers). Now, the program is open to all Symantec partners enrolled in the company’s channel program who are certified in the solutions they’re selling and who offer customers Symantec products, along with their own services.

“This is just another choice for customers and partners on how they want to consume Symantec solutions,” Patterson explained. “We’re now opening this model to our mid-market and below customers as well. The traditional model of procurement is when users buy a license upfront, based on their anticipated usage. Under ExSP, customers can now pay only for what (software) they use on a monthly basis.”

The enhanced program has been revised to offer partners of all sizes a more simplified and streamlined way of selling and deploying licensing to customers. By offering partners and customers more flexibility, Patterson said the enhanced program will likely lead to stickier customer relationships with partners.

“Partners can bill their customers monthly and we only ask for payment quarterly,” Patterson said. “Partners now have a better opportunity to manage their customers’ footprints and they can also get paid in advance.”

The program offers partners rewards and other benefits such as reduced licensing costs when their volume of business increases. This, coupled with a monthly-subscription based selling model, will provide partners with more predictable revenue and growth opportunities, he added.

Partners who haven’t sold licenses using a subscription-based services model before will need to change how they go to market with their sales strategy, Patterson said.

“It’s just a different selling approach,” Patterson said. “It’s not difficult; it’s just a different way of selling.”

Patterson said it’s important for channel partners to also realize that Symantec recently made changes to its services delivery model.

“Symantec is reserving its resources for specific and large and strategic services engagements,” he said. “We’re moving towards a model that’s more partner-delivered and led, so it’s important for partners to demonstrate proficiencies when selling and delivering Symantec solutions.”

At the end of the day, Patterson said it’s important to realize that “If (Symantec) wants to grow in the way (they) want to, (they) need to ensure partners are protected and the only way to leverage them is through our partner community.”

Follow Maxine Cheung on Twitter: @MaxineCheungCDN.

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Maxine Cheung
Maxine Cheung
Staff Writer, Computer Dealer News

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