“Every single partner is positive about the Blue Coat acquisition”
John Thompson, Global Partner Sales Leader, Symantec
We have different categories of partners in our partner program, which is platinum, gold and silver, depending on the competency and the product portfolio
What are the major highlights in Symantec this year?
Through our recent acquisition of Blue Coat Systems which is number one as far as enterprise and network security is concerned, Symantec has enhanced its leadership position to define the future of cybersecurity, setting the pace for innovation industry wide. It will allow to consolidate our portfolio to cover all aspects of what a digital enterprise now require- be it endpoint protection, e-mail protection, web protection networking protection, or enterprise server protection.
We are very excited about this, creating opportunities for customers as well as partners. If you look at the combined companies going forward, we will have over 385,000 customers worldwide and it will enormously enhance the matching internet of things and what’s happening in the cloud with mobile devices and more and more applications moving to the cloud. Blue Coat, for example, protects over 12,000 applications today, so that will become part of the portfolio as we move forward tomorrow. We have over over a billion web requests today on a daily basis. We have over 175 million endpoints, a huge scale and capability that we have now as a combined company. We are twice our nearest competitor in terms of revenue and of course with the acquisition of Blue Coat which is, you know, approximately in the $750 million range, we see huge opportunity here from a partner community perspective.
And what about your consumer unit Seifert?
Well, I think that the consumer unit is sort of complimentary. Let’s start with the enterprise and we will come back to consumer. In the enterprise space, a lot of Blue Coat is in fact sold in the enterprise and Symantec’s channel partners, many in India of course, like Wipro or HCL or TCS, or some of the other large Indian partners, creates a new cross-selling opportunity. Blue Coat’s Proxy SG for example can be sold in consort with Symantec’s data loss prevention product or DLP product and that is a great cross-sell opportunity in our channel.
Secondly, the encrypted SSL can be combined with our DLP product for cross-sell. And third, the cloud area, like Managed Service Provider, for the SMB market or enterprise cloud providers; the assets of Elastica and Elastica, (acquired by Blue Coat earlier in the cloud space) can be combined with our data loss protection product. Fourthly, around enhanced threat intelligence, we have the world’s largest private-sector cyber security database and we will be applying our analytics in not only the Symantec portfolio but the Blue Coat portfolio. So this is also an opportunity for our partners in the security practice to leverage this technology, this data that we have.
Tell us about Symantec channel structure and what are the programs you are offering to partners and how is the response?
We introduced Secure One last year and it’s not even a year old. What we did around the partner program specifically is firstly we simplified the program, secondly we started the payout from dollar one against growth targets as cashflow is more attractive in the partner community, thirdly, we implemented accelerators in the program itself, so that if a partner achieved certain level it accelerates on their payout, being more lucrative for the partner. Lastly, we did make some of the competencies easier to obtain, so that they do not have to take as many courses and save as much as 56% of taxing time around the property. We have received very positive feedback around the Secure One program and we see good things there.
However, Blue Coat has its own program, Symantec has this program; we don’t see any major changes on day one for either program. They both been successful on their own and we want to very carefully over an extended period of time, with lots of input from the partner community, evaluate, how best do we move more towards a unified program.
What are the three big markets in Asia Pacific, you are focusing on and how many channel partners you have in India?
The three big markets we can talk about is of course, enterprise segment, commercial or mid-market and the SMB market. Both Symantec and Blue Coat are very strong in the enterprise segment. In the commercial mid-market this is a great opportunity for the Blue Coat portfolio. We think that we can extend that portfolio with the strength of our partner community in more the mid-market in commercial space. And in SMB, if we talk broader across the whole company we have SMB along with our consumer line-up with Norton. So, we cover everything from consumer to SMB, to mid-market to enterprise across the portfolio. The sectors that are really under attack right now are your financial and insurance sectors.
The targeted market from data perspective, we are seeing more from India-profile perspective, so that’s got strong market criteria and lot of traction is going on. And also the commercial and SMB market, as you know very well the commercial and SMBs are big opportunities in India, where we have a partner ecosystem who works on it.
We have different categories of partners in our partner program, which is platinum, gold and silver, depending on the competency and the product portfolio. Typically the platinum and the gold partners focus on big enterprises in terms of providing and implementing the solutions. We have hundreds of partners who are on the silver category, who addresses the SMB market.
Post Veritas de-merger, how is it going in Symantec and what impact has been there?
With the spin-off of Veritas, we became a pure-play security company and that frankly, has allowed us to get more focused and we are seeing that with our portfolio around new innovation with products like Advanced Threat
We are number one market-share position and we have over 175 million endpoints protected on a worldwide basis, so great opportunity for the partner community
Protection which we’ve rolled out as well as at least 10 new products in the last six months.
On the other hand, with the acquisition of Blue Coat, So, we are even more focused around the security marketplace. It is a phenomenal company in terms of people, in terms of intellectual property and in terms of their market-place position in cloud and web. We feel more confident and our partners are excited to engage with us as well as they see new growth opportunity and new profit opportunity to take care of their customers.
What are the major threats in 2016 and 2017 and how you are tackling those?
If we talk about the threat landscape area first of all, to be in India specifically, we are the sixth most targeted in the APJ region for threats and attacks and 30% of the target attacks were on large enterprises, over 1,500. And they were six times more likely to be targeted, at least, once a year compared to small businesses.
50% of SMBs are being targeted, and in the last five years there has been a steadying increase in businesses with less than 250 employees. I would say that the threat landscape is alive and well. One of our four pillars of course is our threat-protection products which consist of our e-mail, our endpoint, and our antivirus products as well as now our networking products.
We have our information protection product line which consists more of our data loss prevention, user authentication, our VIP products etc. And then we have our data security and services analytics which is not a core product of our product portfolio. And, again, all three of these very partner-centric allow the partner to participate in it. 100% of Blue Coat’s business runs through the private community; Symantec is off that because Symantec business flows through the partner community and creates a great opportunity to move forward and even within. India is a very important country for us; we have over one in three of our engineers are actually based in India as far as development work that we are doing as a company in Symantec.
There are over 1.4 billion smartphones that are purchased globally and smartphones are easy and attractive targets for online criminals. We provide a variety of products to protect against this and that’s an important part of our strategy as well as Blue Coat’s strategy. In 2009, there were two million new pieces of malware created and in 2015 there was 430 million, indicating that malware is alive and well; there is over a million pieces of malware that hits daily around the planet and it’s important that people are protected against this as we go forward.
For more advanced protection, Symantec’s Advanced Threat Protection or ATP triangulates around three key areas where we are number one: e-mail environment, endpoint protection environment and web and network-security which with the acquisition of Blue Coat puts us into the number-one position as well. ATP detects more than -- 95% more than the competition around remediating and detecting threat and then fixing them of course with automatic tool.
What is Symantec’s product portfolio in endpoint security?
From an endpoint security perspective, Symantec is the worldwide leader. We are number one market-share position and we have over 175 million endpoints protected on a worldwide basis, so great opportunity for the partner community. In fact, if we look at e-mails and other examples, we have over two billion e-mails that are scanned daily, that we protect. So, Symantec in consort with its partner community protects 1/3rd of all the e-mail in the world.
And in terms of web and network security, Blue Coat again is the number one provider in that space. So, our portfolio is deep and our portfolio is broad. With the combined companies, we will have 3,000 R&D engineers to help accelerate our innovation further. You know many companies in the security, they only have 3,000 people; we have 3,000 engineers focused on nothing but new innovations in that space.
What about perimeter security, what is the product portfolio in that?
Well, in terms of network security again, it’s an opportunity here with the Proxy SG product from Blue Coat and it’s kind of a web proxy in terms of working within the network environment and it’s well established in the enterprise community as the number one player. And then when we start to broaden the cloud space, this gives Symantec very good opportunities to leapfrog competition because combination of Elastica and other assets is over 12,000 cloud applications that are protected.
What’s the product roadmap in the next couple of months?
We would close the Blue Coat acquisition by October which will broaden the portfolio pretty extensively. From a product strategy perspective, again, it’s four core areas in our product strategy. One is threat protection, two is information protection. You know, in threat protection how to keep the bad guys out; information protection, how do you keep the good information in. Our third is security services, how do we do that in consort with our partners and then finally, our unified security analytics since we do have the world’s largest private security database.
We also integrated solutions across threat protection to help customers keep their data secure in transition to the cloud as there will be over six billion devices will be on the internet in the next five years.
We got over 3,000 R&D engineers and researchers. Our telemetry traffic is over 175 million endpoints, and we are protecting 12,000 apps today. Symantec Endpoint Protection (SEP) won the Best Protection 2015 Award by AV-TEST for corporate endpoint security. SEP was recognized for its consistently superior protection ability throughout all of 2015.
Symantec was also named the leader in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for the ninth year in a row. DLP and our MSSP market place as well as our end-protection platform. We continue to be number one in marker share in terms of our security portfolio. Again, that’s quite good from a partner perspective, in terms of revenue being done partners, and our partners are excited about that.
Every single partner that I have reached since we announced the acquisition, universally; every partner is positive and excited about this acquisition which is pretty rare. You have just people-metrics on different approaches or different portfolio and every single partner think this is like the greatest thing. It helps solidify the direction of Symantec, and the leadership within Symantec like Greg Clark coming onboard to drive the business as well as Mike Frey will be our new president we move forward. All the partners see this as an upside opportunity, they don’t see it as a downside opportunity.
JOHN THOMPSON, Global Partner Sales Leader, Symantec