Symantec Partner Engage 2010: Five Questions Worth Asking

Symantec Partner Engage 2010: Five Questions Worth Asking

I'm heading off to "Fabulous" Las Vegas for the Symantec Partner Engage Conference this year. What can we expect Symantec to talk about this year, and where is the Symantec channel partner program headed? Here are some questions I'm looking to answer during the next few days...

Symantec recently announced strong financial results that beat Wall Street's expectations. And the company continues to expand the Symantec Hosted Services platform for VARs, MSPs and partners that want a stepping stone to recurring revenues. But plenty of questions remain, including:

1. Hot or Hype?: Cloud is generating a lot of buzz, so I'll look to find if Symantec has plans for reaching beyond hosted solutions for partners and consumers alike.

2. Money Matters: At Symantec's 2009 partner conference, CEO Enrique Salem felt that only about 15% of Symantec's revenues -- roughly $1 billion in annual sales -- would come from SaaS and cloud over the next few years. I'll find out if he's changed his stance on this figure.

3. Cloud Storage?: So far, Symantec Hosted Services focus mainly on security. I'll be asking if there are plans to make Backup Exec or NetBackup cloud-linked in any way.

4. The Intel Factor: It'll be interesting to find out what the general sentiment inside Symantec is regarding Intel's recent decision to acquire McAfee.

5. Synergies or Separate Islands?: Symantec offers a broad mix between storage and security solutions (e.g. Enterprise Vault), so I'll ask Channel Chief Randy Cochran if there are any trends in the channel regarding storage vs. security and/or any overlap.

Of course, I'll be looking to find out what Symantec's plans are for the future in general, and how their channel strategy plays into that. Part of that will be finding out how Symantec's partner demographic is built and if MSPs are dominating that field as of late, because of -- you guessed it -- cloud expansion.

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