Security, storage and systems management specialist Symantec announced the evolution of its Partner Program, which is based on a specialist model, and introduced a master specialization category, as well as rolled out three new specializations: data protection, high availability and storage management.
Specializations will be a requirement for attaining Silver, Gold and Platinum status, the company noted, adding that some partners may already possess qualifications toward specializations, based on accreditations their personnel have already earned.
Partners will have until Sept. 30, 2011, to transition and meet the new program requirements, including achievement of specializations needed to maintain their partner level. During this transition period, Symantec will be offering a training reimbursement program. The company said revenue achievement will no longer be a gating factor to elevate through the program in North America.
"There are many long-term trends taking place within the channel partner community, specifically focused on value-added service, market specialization and business value," said Randy Cochran, vice president of North American channel sales for Symantec. "Symantec's Partner Program enhancements acknowledge these shifts by offering our partners more opportunities to remain relevant while maximizing returns from their Symantec investment."
Symantec's Master Specializations program is a new category in the company's Partner Program, recognizing and promoting partners with advanced consulting, technical and service capabilities in a specialized solution area. This specialization category is part of Symantec's partner-led consulting services model, which is designed to offer partners increased scalability to meet customer requirements, reduce channel conflict and create opportunities for greater license sales potential. Master Specializations are now available in five solution areas: enterprise security, data loss prevention, IT compliance, data protection and archiving, and e-discovery.
Data protection specialization recognizes partners who have proved their ability to deliver effective solutions to help protect their customers' business information and systems; high availability specialization recognizes partners who have demonstrated their ability to help protect their customers' applications and data against unplanned downtime and take advantage of business opportunities created by server virtualization; and storage management specialization recognizes partners who have proved their ability to help their customers manage data growth and improve storage utilization, as well as take advantage of business opportunities created by data growth.
Unveiled at Symantec Partner Engage 2010 was Symantec IQ for Partners, which provides partners with access to product and solution content created by Symantec experts. Partners can search Symantec IQ for Partner's Web 2.0 repository for technical documents, presentations and tools to help secure sales and better support customers. Symantec IQ for Partners also includes forums for partners, and Symantec experts to collaborate on topics centered on being a Specialized partner.
"As a longstanding solutions provider, we've had Symantec and its Partner Program at our side-providing us with the tools and resources needed to support our customer storage and security needs," said Fred Dimson, executive vice president of KTI Kanatek Technologies. "Our clients rely on us to provide best-of-breed data protection solutions, and we trust Symantec to help us deliver. We have built many of our professional services offerings around the Symantec product set, and that has been instrumental in helping us grow our business."