**Editor’s Note: Click here for a list of recent channel-program changes you should know.**
Symantec has unveiled a dozen new business distinctions designed to help partners distinguish their strengths in the market, and new financial uplifts that could help them increase their profitability.
The new “Symantec Competencies” are frameworks around which partners can build practices aligned to various Symantec technologies. Similar to competencies created by Cisco and others, these frameworks help partners brand their expertise and showcase their capabilities to potential customers.
The new Symantec Competencies unveiled this week include:
In addition to these, the company is preparing two more competencies, which it will announce in the months ahead. They are the Symantec Cloud Services Competency and the Symantec Managed Services Competency.
To qualify for a specific competency, partners will have to demonstrate excellence in three key areas: technical and sales ability, business performance and customer satisfaction. In addition, partners can further distinguish themselves based on their commitment to Symantec’s technology portfolio.
According to Symantec, the competencies will have two levels, “Principal” and “Expert.”
Partners at the Principal Level must complete baseline training and pass required exams associated with a competency, and achieve “program-defined revenue targets, customer reference requirements, and/or other defined program requirements,” according to Symantec. Partners at the Expert Level must demonstrate the same, plus meet higher revenue and growth targets.
In an interview with Channel Partners, John Emard, senior director of North American Channel Programs and Operations at Symantec, said the redesigned Partner Program consolidates more than 40 different programs into a single, globally consistent framework. It comes after months of work to completely overhaul the program to make it more value-oriented (as opposed to volume-focused), less complex and more beneficial to the company’s highest performing partners. Previous efforts to upgrade the Symantec program occurred in 2001 and 2006, according to the company.
As recently as February, Symantec said it would spend “more on financial benefits for the channel than ever before.” This commitment, however, came before the company’s Board of Directors ousted CEO Steve Bennett in March. Emard and others have since said that the company will remain dedicated to growing its business with the help of partners. He, for one, believes the new changes offer partners a unique opportunity to deepen their relationship with the company at a time when customer security concerns are on the rise.
“Symantec is going through a cultural shift,” Emard said. “We’re aligning to our guiding principles, which are based on partner-centricity, a shared focus and strategy, investment, and recognition and rewards that are based on the value that partners provide.”
As for those rewards, Symantec also announced this week that qualified partners will be able to receive new and enhanced financial and business benefits that could increase their earnings by as much as 20 percent through Symantec’s Opportunity Registration Program. It will be available to Principal or Expert level partners that “first identify, develop and close incremental sales opportunities on qualifying products and services,” according to the company.
In addition, Symantec is offering a new Growth Accelerator Rebate, available to partners that achieve Expert Competencies, which provides an 8 percent rebate (maximum) by reaching or exceeding new business revenue targets. Also, Symantec unveiled a new Renewals Performance Incentive, which offers qualified partners up to a 2 percent rebate on applicable total renewal business, and new money set aside for partner development.
The new program will officially begin in October, giving partners the time between now and then to migrate their business to the program area that best suits them.