Symantec partners are being tasked with taking the vendor’s managed security services strategy to the next level. The vendor is hoping to boost its business in the area with a new specialization in its partner program that will reward partners that meet the skills and knowledge requirements.

Partners can achieve the new Managed Security Service (MSS) Specialization by demonstrating expertise in Symantec Managed Security Services and Symantec DeepSight Early Warning Services, and by providing customers with real-time threat monitoring and analysis. As a key element of the Symantec Partner Program, specializations represent increased opportunities for partners that are able to prove their capabilities in a specific solution area or market. Symantec has several partners with expertise in its MSS offerings and many that have passed leads on to the vendor for referral fees. Symantec has its eyes set on growing its managed security services business; and for that to happen, it needs channel partners to lead the way. The new specialization will offer benefits and tools to partners that are experts in Symantec managed security services, providing a way to differentiate themselves to customers in the market.

security services has traditionally been you’re working with a customer and
they’re outsourcing the management of their security to Symantec, and putting a
partner in the middle of that can be difficult,” said Randy Cochran, vice
president of channel sales for the Americas at Symantec. The solution? Make it
a partner-led model and reward partners who develop the expertise necessary to
take managed security services to market.

to Cochran, the new Managed Security Service (MSS) Specialization was developed
because partners were requesting it. As with other specializations within the
Symantec Partner Program, partners that gain the specialization will have
access to an opportunity registration program, sales and technical resources,
tailored promotions, and other tools and incentives to help drive business.

key reason for turning the business over to the channel is to drive it further
down the stack. Symantec managed security services have typically been
purchased by medium and large businesses, but Cochran said he expects the MSS
Specialization to drive it down to smaller businesses over time.

be eligible for the MSS Specialization accreditation, channel partners must be
enrolled in the Symantec Partner Program as a Corporate Platinum, Platinum,
Gold, Silver or Registered level channel partner or as a Global Strategic
Partner. They must meet other criteria, as well, including completing Symantec
training and accreditation requirements for MSS solutions. MSS Specialists are
also required to develop rolling business plans and make a commitment to joint
account planning and opportunity reviews each quarter to evaluate their

not a program for everybody, but that fits well into one of the themes of
Symantec Partner Exchange, where the new specialization was announced. Symantec
executives talked about the benefits of partner-to-partner business and
collaborations. Partners that don’t have the expertise and don’t plan on
acquiring it may come across managed security services opportunities, and
Symantec is nudging those partners to team up with MSS specialists to work
together on deals. As Cochran said, it’s better to get part of a deal than none
of it.

is committed to helping our partners capitalize on delivering services and over
the past two years, we have evolved our managed security services model to be
more partner-led. The MSS Specialization was designed to help these partners
drive more revenue and increase the value they provide to our joint customers,”
Cochran said.

addition to the MSS Specialization accreditation, Symantec also made a few
other announcements at its Partner Engage event in Chandler, Arizona:

Endpoint and Backup are now being offered to
partners through the vendor’s traditional distribution, giving partners more
choice in how they bring Symantec solutions to their customers.

will release Data Loss Protection for iPad 2 in the next few months.

O3 is currently in beta and will be generally available in early 2012.

vendor will announce its CloudSmart program later this month. CloudSmart will
provide information on Symantec’s definition of cloud and how channel partners
can get into the cloud business. The information will be released in modular
packets over the next several months.