Symantec Launches Two-Tier Symantec Protection Network SAAS Channel Partner Program

By Jessica Davis  |  Print this article Print


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Symantec's two-tier Symantec Protection Network SAAS channel partner program for its resellers will offer commissions of 15 and 23 percent on a monthly basis. Symantec formally launched the Symantec Protection Network channel partner program with three partners, but anticipates hundreds will soon qualify for the Select tier.

Two years in the making, Symantec last week at the Symantec PartnerEngage conference announced the formal launch of its Symantec Protection Network—the company's software-as-a-service entry designed to be sold through channel partners.

"Our focus is on the midmarket and SMB, and as a result of that we made a strategic early decision to focus this on the channel," says Chris Schin, senior director of product management. "We wanted to make sure what we were building would be something that would align to our channel partners' emerging SAAS businesses."

The Symantec Protection Network channel program falls under the umbrella of Symantec's overall channel partner program, but offers two tiers, Premiere and Select. The Premiere level will be granted significant benefits in terms of higher commissions (23 percent), integrated lead management, more co-branded marketing materials and additional presales support.

Schin says the company anticipates recruiting just 20 to 40 partners at this level. In return, Symantec is asking these partners make a serious commitment to the program, with two dedicated salespeople, trained by Symantec in a half-day on-site free training program followed by some Webinars.

"We will be looking at the largest national resellers for this level," Schin says.

The Select-level partners will enjoy 15 percent commissions and will still get "a lot of support, but it will be less of a hands-on commitment," Schin says.

Both types of partners will be able to take advantage of what Symantec is calling the Agency program. Through this program, Symantec will bill the end customer directly and, for every month's bill, the partner will get its commission.

Another option available to certain partners is to use Symantec's provisioning Web page that goes directly into the Symantec back end.  With this program, the services can proceed with no financial payment. At the end of the quarter, the partner will get a report from Symantec that provides details on the total amount of provisioned units of backups and the bill of what the partner owes Symantec.

This gives the partner the opportunity to bill their customers themselves and perhaps aggregate that bill with other services the partner provides to the end customers.

"If we tried to do this with everyone, it would become a large administrative overhead," says Schin.

Symantec had signed up three partners for the new program at launch last week and anticipates many hundreds will immediately qualify for Select partner status.

"Many service providers deliver their SAAS offering directly to the end customer and not through resellers," Schin says. "The channel is our biggest asset in delivering to small and midsize customers. We had to come up with a model that would deliver SAAS and allow the channel partner to play a key role."

Jessica Davis covers the channel for eWeek and Channel Insider. Her technology journalism career began well before anyone heard of the World Wide Web and has included stints at Infoworld, Electronic News/EDN, and the Philadelphia Business Journal. Her work has also appeared on CNN and Forbes.com. She has covered hardware, software and networking, as well as the business side of technology. She has won several journalism awards, including a national ASBPE award for best staff-written column, and was named Marketing Computers hardest working tech journalist on their inaugural list of top tech journalists. Jessica can be reached at jessica.davis@ziffdavisenterprise.com

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