Symantec Launches Software as a Service Blog

Symantec's software as a service (SaaS) team has launched a blog that caught my eye. It may be a timely read for some managed service providers. You can find the Symantec Protection Network (SPN) blog at

As you may know, I've been critical of Symantec's SaaS efforts. As a leader in on-premise storage and security solutions, Symantec could have been a trailblazer in storage as a service and security as a service. But I overlooked on important point...

Most of Symantec's partners are perfectly happy recommending and deploying on-premise solutions for their customers. That message came across loud and clear during Symantec Partner Engage, a conference in Washington, D.C., that I attended yesterday.

The Story So Far

When I started writing about SPN (Symantec Protection Network) in 2007, I expected Symantec to move fast and heavily promote the SaaS network to partners. I hear SPN hit a few bumps during the development process. And Symantec also worked overtime to develop a recurring revenue model/agent model that includes partners.

So, the journalist (me) wanted Symantec to move fast. But perhaps Symantec's slow-and-steady approach is wiser. Roughly 200 solutions providers now earn recurring revenue from the Symantec Protection Network. And that number will surely grow now that Symantec has launched a partner program for SPN.

The Road Ahead

As the Symantec Partner Engage event pushed into the afternoon yesterday, Symantec started describing how more and more of its on-premise solutions would have cloud components. So perhaps Symantec can't move as fast as some SaaS startups. But extending on-premise products to the cloud is a massive opportunity.

One prime example: Symantec Backup Exec now has hooks into the Symantec Protection Network, which means solutions providers can continue promoting on-premise solutions that provide a natural pathway to online recurring revenue.

I'll be watching the Symantec blog for more clues about where the SaaS strategy is heading next.

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