Past Problems, Hopes for the Future

By Sharon Linsenbach  |  Print this article Print


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Security and storage solution providers who work with Symantec say they don't expect that channel chief Julie Parrish's departure will have a big impact on their businesses, but they hope her legacy of support and commitment to partners will live on.


"She left a lot of good people on her team. [Her team] was so solid that issues could get resolved without having to roll all the way up the chain to her," Scherocman says.

He also cites Parrish's deft handling of internal problems, including the product and channel program integrations after the Veritas merger in 2004 and the massively botched ERP upgrade in 2007 that derailed Symantec partners' ordering and revenues.

Parrish was instrumental in addressing and resolving the problems with the ERP system and led a yearlong effort that included fixing the technical and design implementations of the ordering system and re-engaging with partners on their sales support needs. During this period, Parrish instituted the Partner Experience initiative, which focused on solution providers' interaction with the company and customers. The program resulted in an eightfold increase in partner satisfaction.

"I know last year at this time I was having some major fulfillment issues with Symantec, and she and her team were instrumental in getting all that fixed and sorted out," Scherocman says.

As far as overall business strategy and channel program changes, Salem's memo stated that Parrish's departure would not impact or change Symantec's channel-led strategy. In the memo, Salem wrote, "Our focus is to continue to develop programs to drive profitability for our partners and importantly, improve their experiences with us."

Scherocman said he hopes Symantec keeps its promise and doesn't make any drastic changes in strategy or to the channel program.

"I hope they don't make big shifts. Things have settled down after the merger, and I expect a lot more business to develop from Symantec. Endpoint protection, backup tools and products—all those continue to be strong," he says.

Scherocman also says he hopes Symantec's focus on the midmarket will continue to strengthen, since he's seen a lot of improvement now that there's "a whole midmarket team working with me to drive more business."

Sources say while Symantec hasn't hinted at a replacement for Parrish, Cochran is a prime candidate for the job. Dambrot declined to speculate, but added that Cochran is a huge channel advocate, and plays a great part in ensuring that Symantec's channel partners are healthy and happy.

Parrish will remain in her current post until Oct. 31, according to Symantec. While many solution providers expected to see her at Partner Engage, sources say she is not expected to attend and is not on the agenda.

Sharon Linsenbach Sharon Linsenbach is a staff writer for eWEEK and eWEEK Channel Insider. Prior to joining Ziff Davis, Sharon was Assistant Managing Editor for CRN, a weekly magazine for PC and technology resellers. Before joining CRN, Sharon was an Acquisitions Editor for The Coriolis Group and later, Editorial Director with Paraglyph Press, both in Scottsdale, AZ. She holds a BA in English from Drew University and lives in the Philadelphia suburbs with her significant other and two neurotic cats. When she's not reading or writing about technology, Sharon enjoys yoga, knitting, traveling and live music. Sharon can be reached at Sharon.Linsenbach@ziffdavisenterprise.com.

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