Symantec rolls out Secure One program

Stephen Thomas, vice president of Americas channel sales at Symantec

Stephen Thomas, vice president of Americas channel sales at Symantec

Just in time for its split with Veritas, official Monday, Symantec has announced details of its new program, a program with which the vendor is hoping to look simpler, flatter, and more profitable to its partners.

Symantec announced Secure One, its new program, just a week ahead of its annual Partner Engage conference, this year in Orlando and sharing a venue with the renewed Veritas’ partner conference. Stephen Thomas, vice president of Americas channel sales at Symantec, said the timing of the split meant it made sense to refine the partner program. Some changes were likely necessary in light of the disappearance of the storage software side of the business from Symantec’s purview, but Thomas said the company “took the opportunity to simplify and enhance the program on our side of the house.”

Perhaps the biggest change is a dramatic reduction in the number of competencies in the program, now down to four — core security, threat protection, information protection, and cyber-security services. Those four competencies map to a tier system that remains the same in name, but which aims to make it easier for partner to advance.

To advance through Silver, Gold, and Platinum in the new program, there are two tracks. The resale track, which maps to the Core Security competency, requires just meeting the appropriate sales clip. The other three competencies map to the Integrate track, which require a  sales total, as well as a set number of qualified specialists on the partner’s roster. Thomas said he expects the changes to result in some reshaping of the Symantec channel community.

“It will up-level a number of silver partners to gold. Platinum will remain the same in numbers, but there’s now a much clearer path to accelerate into it,” he said.

And as much as the new tiers are about making it easier for current partners, Thomas said a major goal of the new program is to bring in new partners, and to hopefully renew a conversation with lapsed partners.

Unusually, the program goes live almost all at once, at launch. Existing partners will either retain their current status or be bumped up, depending on what they’ve done with Symantec this year.

“If they’ve not talked to their partner manager recently, it’s time to do so,” Thomas said.

The new program also promises higher earning potential for partners through the company’s Growth Accelerator Rebate program, particularly for top-tier partners. And the company is doing away with a system whereby it often held back part of partners’ rebates for a year-end “true-up,” Thomas said, instead paying out rebates in full on a quarter-by-quarter basis. In-quarter rebates are also 50 per cent higher than they had been under the previous program, the company says.

“We’ve removed the annual taget and put more dollars against quarterly targets,” Thomas said. The simpler nature of the new program will also help with the effort to pay partners quicker, he added. The new quarterly earnings program will debut for Q4 calendar 2015 payments.