Give us a brief about the new Symantec post the acquisition of Blue Coat
We are a well-positioned player in the security space extending significant potential for our partners in the market as well. With the acquisition of Blue Coat, we now have a strong position across the endpoint, network,and cloud security market.If we look at the total addressable market for Symantec technology and solutions, we are looking at a $30 billion a year market opportunity and this is very exciting for our partners and our customers. Interoperability between endpoint, network and cloud security is the most important aspect that our customers are looking for and we have been able to integrate our technology across the three quite swiftly. They are looking for reduction of complexity, they want to have a platform and an architecture discussion now, and they want to talk about how the technology interoperates to improve the security posture. The combined portfolio that we are going to market with now represents a significant growth opportunity for our partner community.
From a channel perspective, how has this integration with Blue Coat happened?
We have launched our new Secure One program for the new combined portfolio of Symantec and Blue Coat and for the combined ecosystem of partners, and it has taken effect from this fiscal year. We have worked diligently over the past month since the announcement of the Blue Coat acquisition on integrating our technology, integrating our back-end systems and really getting prepared for integrating our go-to-market activities as well.
Being a channel-centric company, our go-to-market and our partner programs are an integralto our operations. If we look at the individual communities, the programs for the Blue Coat partners and for the Symantec partners have certain of structural similarities in the way that they structured. So, we have combined the programs that can shift up two disciplines and two capabilities which is cloud security and enterprise security. We have integrated the programs keeping in mind that a partner who has good capability in selling endpoint security to the small – medium market, does not necessarily have the same needs and capabilities as a partner who sells Security Analytic Solutions to a large bank.We have recognised that it’s not “a one size fits all” and that is our starting point.
We have three layers of middle tiers – silver, gold and the platinum partners and we are measuring if a partner is silver, gold or platinum based on two elements. First, what is the size and the growth of the business that we have together. Secondly, how many accredited individuals do they have on the team meaning have they invested in building up skills on Symantec technology – this is alsointegral for partners who fit in the middle tier. Partners can have accreditations across various product areas or can choose to go deep – meaning that you are specialised within a certain area like DLP. Overall, we are allowing partners to go wide or deep and for partners willing to increase their middle tier status, we are responding from Symantec with increased benefits and access to additional program elements.
How do you pass on these additional elements and benefits?
Torjus: We give our middle tier partners access to what we call opportunity registration – a fundamental element in the partnership that we share information around the opportunities that we are working on.
When the partner registers an opportunity with us, we have a much better possibility to support the partner in their selling efforts and work together in a good way and that has value for us. The opportunity registration comes with an additional discount when the product sales go down. Additionally, we have renewal incumbency where the partner involved inthe initial sale to a customer will have a margin benefit when the customer comes up for renewal. This means we are loyal to the partnership, we are loyal to the partner that made the extraordinary effort of getting a new customer on Symantec technology. The intention is shared investment between Symantec and the partner where we contribute equally to growing a specific element of the partnership. Finally, for platinum partners, we have specific growth rebating centres which are based on the readiness of a partner to invest and commit to a significant growth in a certain area. We can give them an incentive in the form of a rebate if they achieve that growth target.
How has APJ been doing on geographies and how would you describe the reception amongst the partners?
The reception among partners has been very positive across regions. We are significantly reducing complexity of doing business with Symantec and we want to have a good partner experience. We understand that our partners need to have insight into various vendor program and we do want the focus to be on the selling effort, and not necessarily in spending a lot of time understanding the mechanics of the program.
Edwin Yeo,VP, Channels & Commercial Sales, APJ at Symantec further explains,“Across APJ, the feedback has been pretty consistent. The good news for most of the partners is that the program does not look any different from what they are used to;and this is because our objective right at the start of design was to bring the best of both worlds into a common platform. What they see is the incremental benefit they receive with the extended portfolio. We are excited with the cross-authorisation that we are extending to all our partners – authorisingSymantec partners to sell the Blue Coat portfolio and likewise Blue Coat partners to sell the Symantec portfolio.”
How much of this cross-selling is happening and how much it has started benefiting the partners? what’s the balance between on premise and cloud?
From the beginning of the acquisition of Blue Coat, the company has been focused on the product integration to be in place for the customers. Within the first week after we announced the completion of the acquisition of Blue Coat, we integrated our Global Intelligence Network that provides largest set of that intelligence data available for our customers; and that is something that has a direct impact on our ability to secure customer infrastructures.
To address the on-premise DLP challenge, we have integrated it with our CASB solution so partners can extend their DLP reach into the cloud which is something that is highly relevant for many of our customers. Some of our partners have already taken that journey and the feedback so far has been very good.
Depending on different geographies, do you see different kind of adoption, maturity level across geographies?
We see various maturity levels on the market readiness to move to cloud-based infrastructure and some of that is perhaps because of cultural willingness to adopt this type of technology, the nature of the infrastructure, availability, and affordability of bandwidth available in a marketand so on. There are within the Asia Pacific region, significant differences in the cloud readiness for the market.
“We are investing comprehensively across the APJ region. In terms of adoption, the specific prospects are the Asia Pacific, especially in Japan will be much faster in early adoption and in those areas, we are very much present when they are ready to pick it up. We are committed to this strategy and therefore we are actually expanding and having plans to have our market place open both in ASEAN and in India and into Hong Kong and so on” – Edwin Yeo.
What would you highlight as the two to three main targets over the next 12 to 18 months?
Primarily, we want to realise the cross-selling opportunities that the combined portfolio represents. Our partners play a very important role in making that happen and it does represent a very large potential for the partner to grow. The cross-sell opportunities are obvious and aligned with what we want to achieve over the next 12 to 18 months. The second element relates to cloud as we have discussed.Cloud acceleration, cloud adoption and the shift of infrastructure from on premise to cloud is something that is definitely a key priority.
Symantec’s message for the partners, what do you want them to sort of do or become?
Symantec is committed to all partners who want to do business together. We see partners playing an important role in all parts of the ecosystem, both in enterprise, mid-market and in SMV and that is the way we have constructed our business.We are hugely excited about the potential that the combined portfolio represents and we are looking forward to seeing the results of the new Secure One program.