Symantec shifting to channel competencies model for Symantec 4.0

Security vendor Symantec Corp. has announced a shift in its channel program that will move the focus from developing product specializations to solution competencies, as part of a wider corporate shift the company is calling Symantec 4.0.

At the company’s recent partner conference, Symantec CEO Steve Bennett said he had heard from partners, customers and employees during his listening tour that Symantec had to change. The vendor wasn’t meeting its financial or growth objectives, had an inefficient management structure and the company was unable to deliver value to customers and partners, hampering its growth.

Bennett is calling his turnaround plan Symantec 4.0 and is promising a massive cultural transformation within Symantec, including a long-overdue shift from a point product company to an integrated solutions company. Product offerings will be simplified across three areas: user productivity and protection, information management, and information security.

And Bennett said the channel will be a key part of this transformation and in Symantec meeting its growth goals, calling the distribution strategy the “single biggest lever” the vendor can pull for growth over the next two years.

Getting down specifically to what Symantec 4.0 will mean for the channel, Jim Willis, director of channel sales at Symantec Canada, said the channel program will be migrating away from a specializations model focused around products to more of a competency model, focused on trying to solve customer problems and pain points. Partner enablement will be focused on business outcomes, and partners will be able to sign up and qualify for competencies where they feel they can deliver strategic value in their respective markets.

“It’s a change in outlook” said Willis. “The goal is to be able to grow in areas where we’re underinvested today. We hope new partners will come onboard that see benefit in aligning and investing in Symantec, and core partners will invest more in Symanec and grow presence into additional competencies they haven’t in the past.”

Currently Symantec is mapping specializations to competencies and the program will launch early in 2014, with a phased roll-out happening over the course of the calendar year.

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Jeff Jedras
Jeff Jedras
A veteran technology and business journalist, Jeff Jedras began his career in technology journalism in the late 1990s, covering the booming (and later busting) Ottawa technology sector for Silicon Valley North and the Ottawa Business Journal, as well as everything from municipal politics to real estate. He later covered the technology scene in Vancouver before joining IT World Canada in Toronto in 2005, covering enterprise IT for ComputerWorld Canada. He would go on to cover the channel as an assistant editor with CDN. His writing has appeared in the Vancouver Sun, the Ottawa Citizen and a wide range of industry trade publications.

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