In today’s fast-paced, networked world, the free flow of information is essential to success. As small and mid-sized organisations must improve the ways they share information among employees, partners, suppliers, customers, and other constituents to transform themselves into more dynamic and responsive service-oriented businesses.

Most small and mid-sized enterprises (SMEs) rely on a Microsoft Windows environment to keep their business running and their employees productive. However, what theses organisations often fail to recognise are the vulnerabilities in Windows based systems that place them at risk, writes Mark Smissen enterprise channel manager at Symantec Africa.

Each day, Windows-based organisations face challenges such as backing up and recovering mission-critical data and systems in the event of hardware failure or human error, protecting users from viruses and other “malware,” and keeping their customer information and other intellectual property from falling into the wrong hands.

What’s more, as the technologies and infrastructure of the business evolve over time, many SMEs find that their solutions – often a patchwork of products from a variety of vendors – no longer work together effectively to protect their Windows environment and ensure that their business stays up and running.

To truly protect the Windows environment, it is necessary to look at the IT infrastructure holistically. All data, systems, applications, and IT policies must be aligned to support the end goal: keeping the business up and running while protecting the security and integrity of the information on which the business and its customers depend.

Accordingly, the goal of SMEs should be to identify and implement solutions from vendors that are industry proven and reliable. Their software vendors must provide best-in-class solutions for keeping their data, systems, and applications secure and highly available. Furthermore, the solutions should be capable of fulfilling the needs of a large enterprise, while offering the affordability and ease of implementation required by a SME.

As such, Symantec is offering its partners the chance to grow their business and expand their opportunities, as well as the chance to sell additional offerings to their installed based. Furthermore, Symantec is able to help its partners bring customers the benefits of enhanced protection for the Windows environment, including Windows Vista.

Through a full suite of proven security and availability solutions that can help today’s Windows centric organisations effectively and affordably meet these objectives, Symantec’s best-in-class solution, which are easy to acquire, deploy, and manage, help ensure that information on desktops, laptops, and servers are continuously secure and available.

Furthermore, with the release of Backup Exec 11d, Anti-Virus 10.2 and Ghost Solutions Suite 2.0, Symantec partners can extend continuous protection capabilities beyond Windows file servers and workstations to Microsoft Exchange, provide automatic defence and response against viruses and spyware/adware for the Microsoft Windows Vista operating system as well as provide rapid and reliable Windows deployment, migration, and software distribution to their customers.

Symantec is further extending its expertise to their reseller partners so they can ensure that their SME customers receive real-time data on vulnerabilities currently being exploited and specific guidance on how to proactively protect their Windows IT environment. The way the solutions are packaged for the channel allows resellers to use a fair amount of their existing skills to support the solutions and as such, Symantec is taking the lead in helping their partners define new opportunities as the Windows landscape changes.