Symantec introduces encryption specialization

Randy Cochran

Symantec North American channel chief Randy Cochran

Symantec has brought its encryption-focused partners into the fold with the introduction of its new Encryption Solutions specialization for partners.

The addition of the tenth specialization in its new partner program also brings solution providers for PGP and Guardian Edge, both of which were acquired by Symantec in 2010, into the broader Symantec partner community.

“It really is the blending of two partner programs and two partner groups,” said Randy Cochran, Symantec’s vice president of North American channel sales. “It gives our encryption partners a chance to expand their footprint.”

Cochran said as much as it’s an opportunity for the PGP and Guardian Edge partners to come board and pick up new areas like endpoint security or data loss prevention, it’s an opportunity for the company’s existing solution providers to add encryption to their toolbox.

“It gives them a great opportunity to grow the size of the sale,” Cochran said. “This is something a lot of customers want to talk about, but don’t really understand.”

As well as helping customers figure out their plans for encryption, Cochran said broad security partners can find a number of ways to add additional services to encryption sales, making it a more lucrative opportunity for the partner.

Like the rest of the company’s specializations, getting the Encryption Solutions mark requires passing technical and sales exams on the related topics. All training for the program is available on the company’s partner Web site and is available on a go-at-your-own-pace basis. Cochran said for a security-focused partner, getting up to speed on the encryption products can be completed “inside a week.”

Existing authorized PGP and Guardian Edge partners will be grandfathered into the new specialization, and will not have to complete their training until they next come up for renewal. It’s a two-year renewal cycle, and Cochran said most partners currently are good until late this year or early 2012.

The company has some 1,950 PGP and Guardian Edge partners worldwide, and says there’s about a 50 per cent overlap with the Symantec Partner Program.

With the launch of the encryption specialization, the company completes the rollout of its ten initial specializations. The first nine were introduced with the company’s revised partner program at its Partner Engage conference last November. Other specializations in the program include: Enterprise Security; Endpoint Management; Data Loss Prevention; IT Compliance; Data Protection; Storage Management; High Availability; Archiving and eDiscovery; and one market-focused specialization, Small and Midsize Business.