Symantec CEO Change: Cloud Security, Storage Push Accelerates
Symantec today changed CEOs, replacing Enrique Salem with Steve Bennett. Wall Street applauded the move. The company plans to accelerate its Symantec.cloud initiative, among other big priorities. What can new CEO Bennett do to make Symantec (NASDAQ: SYMC) a dominant cloud security and storage provider for channel partners? Here are five suggestions from Talkin’ Cloud.
First a little background: New CEO Steve Bennett today said there’s nothing fundamentally wrong with Symantec but he believes the company is “underperforming” amid certain market opportunities. It’s a safe guess to suggest he’s pointing to the cloud computing and mobile computing waves.
So what should the company do with cloud integrators and channel partners? Here are five suggestions:
1. Make A Blanket Statement to Cloud Integrators: Describe an across-the-board cloud strategy to all partners — distributors, resellers, VARs, cloud integrators, etc. Describe how every Symantec product (Backup Exec, Symantec Endpoint Protection, etc.) continues to have on-premises offerings plus cloud extensions/full cloud solutions. Use Backup Exec.Cloud as the poster child for the broader strategy.
2. Be Consistent: Describe — again, across the board — whether channel partners can:
- White label Symantec cloud services. If so, which ones?
- Set end-customer pricing for those cloud services.
- Manage end-customer billing for the cloud services.
3. Clarify Symantec’s Cloud BDR Strategy: Symantec has a partnership with Doyenz (cloud disaster recovery) and has also invested in Backupify — a startup that backs up data from Google Apps, Salesforce.com and other SaaS services. Those are promising ventures but channel partners want a single dashboard to manage cloud-oriented storage services. Can Symantec deliver such a dashboard, and which services will plug into it?
4. Celebrate top Symantec.cloud Partners: At the Symantec Engage 2012 partner conference (Sept. 11-12, Baltimore), the company must put a bright spotlight on VARs that are succeeding in the cloud. Which partners are performing best, and how did they develop their cloud strategies?
5. Watch Your Words on Wall Street: Former Symantec CEO Enrique Salem in 2008 or so made some direct sales comments to Wall Street, and some channel partners never forgave Salem for those words. Bennett needs to describe and maintain a channel-led, partner-led strategy, even amid the growing shift to cloud services.
That’s all for now. Talkin’ Cloud will be back with more Symantec observations as the company continues to offer updates on its CEO change.