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Managed service provider (MSP) partners of Symantec are
likely to breathe a sigh of relief today after the security and storage company
yesterday took the wraps from a new MSP strategy that will have it integrate
its products with four major remote monitoring and management (RMM) platforms,
as well as creating a program for quarterly or monthly billing.

"The MSP strategy that we’re launching is actually the
product of hearing from our partners and doing what they’ve asked us to
do," says Randy Cochran, Symantec’s vice president of channel sales for
the Americas. "We have a Small Business Advisory Council and when we
rolled this out to them at Partner Engage, we saw a lot of heads nodding and
people saying, ‘Finally! This is going to be really cool.’"

The lynchpin of the program is the immediate availability of
the integration of Symantec Backup Exec 2010, Backup Exec 2010 for Windows
Small Business Server, Symantec Endpoint Protection 12.1, and Endpoint
Protection 12.1 Small Business Edition with Kaseya, LabTech, Level Platforms
and N-able. The meshing of Symantec’s product base with these RMM platforms
will give Symantec’s service partners the ability deploy, monitor, and manage
their customer’s backup and security solutions without having to visit customer
sites so often, reducing what Cochran calls that ‘costly windshield time in the

In addition to the integration, Symantec’s new MSP strategy
also rests on the delivery of its backup and security products through  the cloud, giving service partners the
ability to add cloud-based solutions into their existing offerings, offering
customer the choice to deploy Symantec Backup and Symantec Endpoint are quick to set-up and can be managed through a single
console hosted in the cloud by Symantec. Symantec also now offers new private
cloud services for Symantec Backup Exec 2010 that lets partners backup and
manage multiple customers through a single, secure Backup Exec console and
provide integrated off-site protection through any partner infrastructure. It’s
a free option for customers and partners already on maintenance with the
company today and can be used with or without the RMM integration.

"Now that we have it in the cloud or on the ground or
through a remote management platform capability we really think we’ve given the
partners great choice and great options for them to sell however the customer
wants to consume," Cochran says.

The third puzzle piece in this new MSP strategy is the
launch of Symantec’s ExSP Licensing Program. The program will give Symantec
partners the ability to buy software in a monthly subscription-based model.
Available to qualified service providers, program helps MSPs reduce risk and
spread out costs based on the real-time volume of their business.

"They can now sell that on a monthly or quarterly
basis, which we think matches up very nicely with their platform
strategy," Cochran says. "If they’re billing their clients on a
monthly or quarterly basis we can now tuck in right underneath them."