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Symantec improved the terms of its opportunity registration, including extending the discounts from the program its Silver tier of partners.

The extension of its deal registration is among several changes the company made recently to its partner program, all designed to further reward and provide incentives to its top tiers of partners.

First, Symantec will extend the additional discounts that come with its deal registration program to its Silver tier of partners for the first time. The discount will apply to the company’s approximately 2,500 North American partners.  Symantec has about 5,000 Silver partners globally.

"They have such a big impact on the midmarket it was important for them to come in and participate," says Julie Parrish, Symantec’s channel chief.  Parrish says that the company’s combined rebate and discount for VARs using opportunity registration totals between 18 and 20 percent.

To be a Symantec Silver partner in North America, a VAR must have two certified sales specialists and at least one technology specialist, plus it must have $250,000 in Symantec sales per year.

For large account resellers including CDW and Dell—partners that have $10 million or more in Symantec sales—Symantec is making the discount easier to manage by making it an up-front 8 percent discount as opposed to the 7 percent back-end rebate they used to get.  The discount levels the playing field, making the discount the same for Silver partners and up. It also alleviates the complexity that back-end rebate programs create for resellers.

And for its very large resellers, Symantec is also increasing the cap on deal registration amounts from $250,000 to $1 million.

"In reality it’s not like we had a lot of registrations last year that would have been in that range," says Parrish, who said the number of deals that would have fallen into that range was probably less than 50. "It’s more an act of goodwill. Those are the big deals that everybody talks about, and you want to remove the emotion from it."

Symantec has also made some adjustments to the time constraints on deal registration.  For example, the company has reduced the minimum time to register from 14 days to 7 days because there were some deals in the midmarket where the sales cycle was just that short, says Parrish.

And at the other end of the spectrum, Symantec increased the amount of time a registered deal could remain active to 9 months from 6 months. Parrish added that in both cases once the deadline passes, if a deal is still active the company will go right back out to the reseller and tell him the deal has expired so he can go back in and reregister it.

In addition, Symantec is now allowing add-on licenses to be included in the deal registration discount, even if they weren’t included in the original deal registration.

"It used to be that whatever came in on the initial purchase order is what would qualify," Parrish says.  "If in the future there [are] add-on license sales based on the original deal, you will now get credit for those as well.  This prevents another reseller from coming in and getting credit for them."