SaaS, Cloud Integration Services & Channel Partners: It’s time
By now channel partners are well aware that a lot of organizations are looking to take advantage of the cloud to streamline business operations and improve their agility. This provides an excellent opportunity for partners to expand their breadth of technology offerings, but also leaves some scratching their head, wondering one thing — where do you begin? My previous role as VP of Sales for Symantec.cloud has provided me with hands-on experience, and I can assure you that with proper planning and by following a few key recommendations, cloud technology will prove to be beneficial to you as well as your customers.
To begin integrating cloud technology into your solution offerings, you’ll need to first look at your own business and solution needs. Consider what you want to emphasize in the technology you provide – how do you differentiate yourself from competitors, for example – and then select cloud solutions that will augment your business objectives.
Start With SaaS
I recommend considering Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) products for partners looking to initiate a cloud strategy. SaaS solutions are specifically designed to be easy to implement, and are ‘need-specific,’ making them easily marketable to customers that are ready to try something simple to start spreading their wings and adopt cloud technology.
The multitude of high-margin SaaS offerings available as part of Symantec.cloud were designed specifically with partners in mind. For example, Symantec Endpoint Protection.cloud and Backup Exec.cloud can serve as a great starting point for partners, because they offer clear functionality and features that are easily understood by the customer. The comprehensive benefits these products deliver make them a powerful value proposition.
Cloud Integration Services
For those partners looking to implement a more ambitious cloud technology strategy, I would recommend moving beyond software and consider integrating platform resources. As you continue to become more comfortable with cloud solutions, you can begin to offer customized platform and infrastructure tools – if you have a small, high-value customer base, this strategy could serve as a productive opportunity for building your brand. The key to ensuring success with this approach is to select providers that can offer you a comprehensive technology portfolio, rather than a large number of point solutions.
The key to any successful business relationship is to listen to your customers and their needs. As many of your customers may be considering outsourcing their operations, this may serve as an opportunity for you to begin a cloud deployment discussion with them, providing you with an opportunity to highlight the various outsourcing issues cloud technology addresses.
Microsoft Office 365, for example, provides useful, cloud-based collaboration abilities, but it leaves other needs unmet. Symantec’s eDiscovery and email archiving products pick up where Office 365 leaves off, to simplify processes for legal departments and improve overall operational efficiency. With the breadth of technology solutions Symantec.cloud offers, it’s easier than ever to expand your technology expertise, increase brand recognition and differentiate yourself among competitors.
Symantec will continue to expand its portfolio and broaden deployment offerings to provide partners with more tools to meet customer needs. We are also constantly improving our certification program to help our partners build competencies, and our dedicated channel partner team is always available to assist partners with integrating Symantec solutions into their business offerings, quickly and seamlessly.
As the Symantec Channel Chief, I am committed to providing partners and customers with the resources needed to succeed. By working together, we can help you build loyalty with your customers by providing cloud solutions that keep their information secure, available, and backed-up in the cloud.
John Eldh is VP of channel sales for the Americas, Symantec Corp. Monthly guest blogs such as this one are part of Talkin’ Cloud’s annual platinum sponsorship.