Symantec continues to be a channel-led company and recognises the value its
partners play in reaching its broad set of customers throughout South
This is according to Mark Smissen, commercial manager for Africa at
Symantec, who says the company is not changing its channel strategy and is
not taking high-value deals direct.
Recent media reports about Symantec's channel strategy, its distribution
model and its value to channel partners have created misconceptions about
its commitment to the channel both locally and internationally.
He says the confusion in the marketplace is based on the fact that Symantec
acquired several large companies in the last three years, all with their own
channel and licensing models, some of which have a direct approach when
dealing with customers.
He says Symantec maintains a two-tier distribution strategy and like many
other vendors are allowing its tier 1 partners to fulfill enterprise
contracts directly with Symantec to streamline the process for its customers
"Year on year Symantec has increased headcount and investment in our channel
both at EMEA and at country level," says Smissen.
Additionally, he says Symantec has not made any compensation, discount or
program changes that would incentivise a customer one way or the other or
take business from its channel partners.
From a small to medium business enterprise perspective, Smissen says
Symantec continues to invest in automation processes that will drive
efficiency to its partners to capture ongoing renewal business.
"We have partnered with a third party business process improvement company
to drive and improve the renewal process, so that our partners can focus on
acquiring new business. For example, our 60 day renewal notice to our
customers encourages the customer to renew through their partner, and
provides information on the reseller of record.
"At 30 days, we remind the customer to renew, either through their partner
or online. Partners lose no renewal revenue but really only benefit from the
new process. Instead of our partners chasing the renewals, Symantec is
essentially chasing the renewals for them, increasing their profitability,"