Symantec's He Said-She Said

  • By

    Chris Gonsalves

    | Posted 2008-07-17

Talking Heads

Symantec's Julie Parrish did her best to explain away some of the comments made by COO Enrique Salem during a financial analysts' meeting in Las Vegas on June 12. Still, in the areas of timing and motivation for tweaks to the vendor's channel program, there remains some distance between Salem's assertions and Parrish's rebuttal.

Julie Parrish
Vice President, Global Channel Office
Enrique Salem
Chief Operating Officer
On channel value Symantec continues to be a channel-led company and we recognize the value partners play in reaching our broad set of customers. I don't [think]  that somebody who's working with the channel is driving as much value as somebody who's working with a Global 2000 firm.
On strategy We are not changing our strategy and taking high-end deals direct. Now we're just saying they've got the option, the top 700, 800 accounts can go direct.
On legacy All accounts have had the ability to buy direct in the past. It doesn't make sense to continue to leverage both a distributor and a partner to serve the largest customers in the world. So those deals will now give the customer the option to go direct.
On timing We maintain a 2-tier distribution strategy and like many other vendors have allowed our Tier 1 partners to fulfill complex enterprise contracts directly. We made this change in April. We've been operating for 90 days without this kind of uproar. The other thing that we'll do is we'll move from a two-tier distribution model to a one-tier for our largest partners.
On profit Any margin improvement would be negligible. Symantec is making the change to simplify these deals and not to improve margins.  There will be some margin improvement as a result. It definitely will have a benefit on our overall sales and marketing cost structure."

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