We want to continue to invest with partners who invest with us
Ganesan Arumugam, Director – Partner & Commercial Sales, India, Symantec
Can you briefly describe your channel partnership program Secure One and overall partner strategy?
With the acquisition of Blue Coat complete, Symantec has begun executing its integration strategy and accelerating its commitment to define the future of cyber security. With this acquisition, Symantec has now emerged as the largest pure play cyber security company.
Partners play a critical role for the Symantec business, especially now that we’re 100 percent focused on security. Last October, we launched our revamped channel strategy called Secure One. It offers partners the ability to unlock higher earning potential through simplified competency and certification requirements, while including a more predictable, profitable Growth Accelerator Rebate. Included under the new Secure One umbrella is also a new Distributor program, which is designed to support and accelerate partner growth. The enhanced channel partner program is designed to help security-focused partners grow their businesses. It provides our partners with a clear road to take advantage of the innovation and growth we expect to drive as the world’s largest cyber security company.
HIGHLIGHTS OF SECURE ONE INCLUDE
Higher earning potential: Our Growth Accelerator Rebate (GAR) sets one goal on net new business and pays out from the first transaction. Once a partner reaches the Platinum tier in any of the Integrate competencies (Threat Protection, Information Protection or Cyber Security Services), partners participate in a predictable, profitable GAR across the entire security portfolio, including Core Security
Get paid faster: Partners don’t have to wait until the end of the year, which translates into quicker cash flow. Plus, the earning opportunity in quarter is 50% higher than before
Easier achievements: It’s easier than ever for partners to achieve Platinum status. We’ve streamlined specific requirements (technical validation, customer references, sales certification requirements), so that our partners can earn revenue faster and with fewer hurdles
How has the response to Symantec’s channel strategy – Secure One been so far?
Launched in October last year, our enhanced partner program, Secure One was designed to ensure more profitability for our partners. In less than a year, the program has been very well received by partners across the globe, including India. It has been rated as the best program in APJ. Our partners recognize the advantage of us focusing only on security. Owing to the renewed focus, we are easier to do business with, more nimble and responsive to our partners. Our focus also allows us to enhance our strategic engagement with partners—to deliver a deeper more innovative portfolio centered on growth and create best-in-class programs, tailored to the market and our mutual customer needs.
Could you please elaborate on Symantec’s presence in India?
Symantec has been present in India for more than 20 years and is a key strategic hub for Symantec and a key engineering center. Over one in three engineers are based in India, solving business critical issues of customers for India as well as globally. In addition to the continued growth in core product development, we are also expanding shared-services teams in India. Symantec also has key security intelligence installations like Security Response Center in Pune and Security Operations Center in Chennai servicing customers globally.
Talking about our channel presence in India, bringing in a focused channel strategy, Symantec together with its partners is confident of making businesses in India more secure and protected. We are focused towards will equipping partners to focus not only on providing core security, but also Managed services, Threat protection and cloud solutions. This will provide partners a broader portfolio and wider range to engage with Symantec, resulting in increased revenue.
We transact across 200+ partners including GSI, SI, Tier -1 managed partners and unmanaged partners. As a strategy we have identified the top 20 partners and work with them as managed partners to deepen our relationship in terms of engagement and revenue. We also have a longstanding relationship with our core national partners and have been working closely with the Big 4 consultants in India.
How has the role of partners changed with the technology trends such as digitization and cloud?
Businesses are undergoing major change in terms of digitization, cloud and big data. If you look at cloud, customers are consuming IT as a service and not as a product. What enterprises desire today is start working with partner in the industry who can devise an architecture for them. Security is no more a point product play but an architecture play. We committed towards skilling and equipping our partners to become consultants for customers across sectors.
With digitization there are a lot of services opportunities and partners are transforming themselves to provide those services. Partners, irrespective of the size are working towards getting expertise in specific technology areas. We are working towards skilling and certifying our partners with requisite products to address the customers’ need.
The Company has undergone transition in the last couple of months – separation from Veritas and acquisition of Blue Coat? What has been the response from partners?
Symantec now has a clear path forward as the global leader in cyber security with the Veritas transaction completed. With the acquisition of Blue Coat, Symantec will define the future of cyber security and set the pace for innovation industry wide. Like Blue Coat, we at Symantec are constantly striving to create solutions that can better protect customers from the next generation of attacks. It’s an opportunity to provide growth for our partners with a combination of the Symantec portfolio and the Bluecoat portfolio. It will open new substantial cross selling opportunities for partners. Through the combined portfolio, our partners will be able to combine Bluecoat’s ProxySG product with Symantec’s DLP product, or the SSL Visibility product with our DLP product. For existing partners who carry both, it will allow them to go deeper and for partners which have one or the other, there are a number of different products here which will allow them to get even better scale. Further, it will add to the Symantec’s strength in email, endpoint, server protection and advanced threat protection (ATP) through the addition of web and network security technologies.
Our two companies share a mutual commitment to deliver innovation and drive customer success. We feel more confident and our partners are excited to engage as they see new growth opportunity and new profit opportunity to take care of their customers. Every single partner is positive and excited about this acquisition, which is rare. It has helped solidify the direction of Symantec, and the leadership within Symantec. All the partners see this as an upside opportunity.
What are your focus areas and key priorities for the partner community?
We want to continue to invest with partners who invest with us so we can continue to have mutual growth and profitability. We will ensure profitability, predictability and sustainability for our partners.
Further, with the completion of the acquisition of Blue Coat, Symantec will enhance its leadership position to define the future of cyber security and set the pace for innovation industry wide. Both our partners and customers are positive about this as there will be greater opportunities for all. In terms of partner programs, there won’t be dramatic changes in either the Blue Coat or the Symantec’s programs. Over an extended period of time, with lots of input from the partner community, we will move more towards a unified program. Secure One will still be the blueprint for partner engagement for the foreseeable future.
Can you share some of the best practices to ensure mutually beneficial channel community?
With a majority of Symantec’s business in India being partner-led, we see tremendous value in investing in committed, capable partners to drive deeper relationships with customer. We are working with our partners, as we advance security together and take a stand to keep information safe. Some of our best practices include:
Build loyal and committed partner eco system, develop trusted relationship with partners: As this new enhanced program is optimized for our security portfolio only, this provides a more focused approach. Our primary objective was to remove barriers to success for our partners.
Invest in building their competencies: Through Symantec Secure One, we have consolidated competencies to just four: Core Security, Threat Protection, Information Protection and Cyber Security Services.
Help partners in building pipeline through our joint marketing programs: As a focused security company, we are committed to investing heavily in marketing and demand generation with partners. These are aimed to support Partner organizations and representatives accelerate their pipeline development.
Working closely with partner in sales cycle: Our sales and presales team will be working closely with the partners in their customer engagement and help in the sales closures.
Ganesan Arumugam, Director – Partner & Commercial Sales, India, Symantec