Symantec Partner Engage: Partners Must Grow Their Core
The VAR Guy’s brain has been treated to a tour de force of partner advice. Aside from “megatrends” and cloud brokerage, Symantec’s Channel Chief Randy Cochran offered up some advice to partners on future customer relationships with future technology at Partner Engage 2011. Here’s the scoop …
Cochran closed his keynote with a quick and informative discussion about where Symantec partners should be headed. Three categories were key, mobility, virtualization and cloud. The VAR Guy is hardly surprised. But Cochran’s guidance finding more customer opportunities also echoed sentiments by Symantec President and CEO Enrique Salem and Gartner VP Tiffani Bova. “You need to have [cloud, virtualization and mobile] conversations, or someone else will.” Having that conversation means discussing business plans, and that means understanding how the customer operates.
Cochran also discussed the “co-opetition” angle: “Ask your best customers what partners they’re working with. See if you can do something jointly. Look for opportunities, because someone else is doing the same.”
Cochran offered an organic way to approach these changes and opportunities. “It’s not going to happen overnight,” he said, “but stay true to your core. Look for logical extensions [of your core competencies.]” Once you step outside that initial “circle” and bring specialization to a new level, that enables the very same thing to happen again and again, until essentially more “conversations can happen.”
Cochran urged partners to take advantage of all Symantec has to offer in the way of educational programs and online training classes through SymBrain. “Invest in yourself,” he said. “Get the tools to start the conversation.”
Tied to that call to action, Cochran discussed Symantec’s new cloud offering to partners, featuring Symantec Endpoint Protection.cloud and Backup Exec.cloud, which Cochran billed as the perfect stepping stones to bring customers and partners alike into the world of SaaS and cloud-based solutions.
Cochran closed with two somber slides asking partners to build and embrace the Symantec ecosystem and way of business. Symantec’s strength in the marketplace and intra-partner strength, he said, would carry partners forward. Much in the way healthcare professionals refer and work with each other on the health of an individual, so, too, should partners work together to heal customer problems on the journey to the cloud and beyond.