‘We are increasing our partner base in Tier 2 and 3 cities across India’

Symantec India

Symantec considers its channel partners as its fundamental assets and force multiplier for its business. The company recently redefined its approach towards market and the format of solutions delivered. Vineet Sood, head-channels and alliances, Symantec India shares his views on the on the reforms introduced, its impact on the go-to-market strategy and future of the security industry.

How does Symantec plans to secure this new age of information outburst?
As the outward information growth takes place, it remains centralized and fundamental to the enterprise. From intellectual property to customer records, data has become critical to the bottom-line. So, it’s not surprising if enterprises ask some critical questions about security, availability, disaster recovery and compliance.

We are the only company to offer across security, (web/ mail/ endpoint/ network) storage, information management software across all size companies. We offer a range of products which cater to the security and storage needs of SMEs, which is the USP of our products. This is across verticals and across the length and breadth of the country.

To usher in this new age of confidence, Symantec has developed a range of new technologies that can enable a future where individuals and organizations have the confidence to live, work and succeed in a connected world. Symantec’s Vision revolves around two concepts – people and information. And IT needs to work on bringing these two together. It is a fundamental shift in how we approach the connected world; a shift that focuses not on systems, but on protecting and managing identities and information, regardless of the device, the location or the infrastructure, whether it is physical or virtual.

Therefore, we can say that, in order to secure this new age, we have been assembling a set of solutions that brings together identity and device security, information protection, context and relevance and the benefits from leveraging the cloud.

What measures are you taking to ensure that the company taps maximum growth opportunities in the SMB segment?
The SMB segment is unique with very specific needs. Symantec’s SMB strategy is about complete information protection for the users. We are the only company to offer enterprise level security, back up, recovery and storage solutions; and we aim to become the single point solution provider for all information protection requirements of the Indian SMB. Agnostic software, that work across existing platforms and applications, with the capability to support newer technologies like cloud computing and virtualization.

To reach out to this segment we leverage our extremely strong and widespread partner network, which reaches across the country. It is our constant endeavor to equip them with tolls and knowledge, to address the customer’s needs efficiently. We also engage with partners, train them, and enable them to satisfy the end customers, as this is one of the focus areas for us. Symantec has recently announced its Enhanced Partner Program that would help partners differentiate their businesses, maximize sales opportunities and accelerate profitability. Under this program, Symantec will put an increased focus on driving partner competence in key solutions areas and providing partners with more resources, tools, incentives and sales support.

What strategy are you following when it comes to channel partners and resellers?
Symantec’s channel strategy is to be the partner of choice in India. We are a channel led company and our partners are important to our success. We offer a channel-centric business structure, programs, tools and resources that enable partners to achieve consistent profitable growth.

We continue to offer specific solutions catering to all needs be it large enterprises at the data center level or mid sized and small business users that need customized solutions. Symantec has been assembling a set of solutions that bring together identity and device security, information protection, context and relevance and the benefits from leveraging the cloud.

The Enhanced Partner Program includes new solution Specializations (Data Protection, High Availability and Storage Management), and new Master Specialization categories for qualified partners with established consulting practices in one or more solution-area specializations. The program enables partners and VARs to further differentiate their business from competitors, maximize returns using new sales, technical and business enablement tools and resources, and accelerate profits with more predictable results.

Which technology and products will be the key drivers in the year 2011?
Key technologies that will drive the market next year are:

The Last Mile of Virtualization: Virtualization being the key driver last year will continue to influence IT even in 2011. After employing virtualization, companies achieve benefits by reducing the number of servers, thus decreasing server costs; however, organizations are realizing that it is simultaneously increasing management costs, and without a plan to protect these environments, they may not realize the full ROI.

While many companies believe the information and applications within their virtual infrastructure is protected, many IT administrators will face the harsh reality that it is not. The rapid adoption, yet fragmented implementation and lack of standardization when it comes to virtual infrastructure will expose gaps in the security and backup of virtual environments over the next year.

Encryption Technology
: The explosion of mobile devices in the enterprise not only means organizations will face new challenges in keeping these devices and the sensitive data on them accessible and safe; they also must comply with various industry data protection and privacy regulations. In 2011, organizations will take a more proactive approach and adopt encryption technology to meet compliance standards and avoid the heavy fines and damage to their brands a data breach can cause.

Cloud Computing
: The cloud will greatly change the way services are delivered, where more organizations will leverage public and private clouds as they become highly available. As we head into 2011, enterprises will require the ability to manage storage resources whether they’re local, campus wide, multi-campus, global or in the cloud. Tools will emerge to manage this new complex storage environment and to help IT administrators better understand and capture information about unstructured data that resides within it. This will allow IT to fully utilize the benefits of the cloud and intelligently report to management.

Social Media: The way we collaborate in the enterprise will change in 2011 as organizations have started to leverage more social media to improve communication and productivity throughout the enterprise. However, IT organizations will also need to understand how to protect and manage these non-standard applications for recovery and discovery of business information that is communicated in these outlets. Social media archiving will grow in importance as companies unleash the power of social business but maintain archiving as a form of control to reduce information risk.

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