Channel chiefs, Channel partner programs, Networking

New Symantec Partner Program: Where’s Recurring Revenue?


Symantec Corp. today unveiled Symantec Secure One -- an "enhanced" channel partner program designed for resellers and distributors. The launch announcement did not mention managed services providers (MSPs), cloud services or monthly recurring revenue opportunities -- though it's a safe bet Symantec continues to offer those components, too.

The Symantec Secure One partner program officially launches for resellers today (Oct. 5), with distribution program enhancements set to roll out sometime thereafter. According to a prepared statement from Symantec, the program supports:

  • "Higher earning potential – Our Growth Accelerator Rebate (GAR) sets one goal on net new business and pays out from the first transaction. Once a partner reaches the Platinum tier in any of the Integrate competencies (Threat Protection, Information Protection or Cyber Security Services), partners participate in a predictable, profitable GAR across the entire security portfolio, including Core Security.
  • Get paid faster – Partners don’t have to wait until the end of the year, which translates into quicker cash flow. Plus, the earning opportunity in quarter is 50% higher than before.
  • Easier achievements – It’s easier than ever for partners to achieve Platinum status. We’ve streamlined specific requirements (technical validation, customer references, sales certification requirements), so that our partners can earn revenue faster and with fewer hurdles."

Symantec In Transition

Symantec Secure One arrives as the company sells off its Veritas storage business to Carlyle Group -- a private equity firm. That deal, announced in August, is expected to close by the end of 2015.

Throughout today's partner program announcement, Symantec stresses that the organization is "the world's largest cybersecurity company." But Symantec has been struggling to leverage the full power of that designation.

Symantec announced disappointing fiscal Q1 2016 earnings in August. Amid the shift to a cloud- and mobile-led world, Symantec often failed to fully capitalize on its security and storage heritage. In addition to focusing R&D more sharply in those, the company in September hired Amazon Web Services and veteran Dan Rogers as chief marketing officer.

Cloud, Mobile and MSP Recurring Revenues?

It's a safe bet that Rogers will bolster Symantec's brand around cloud and mobile security services that drive monthly recurring revenue (MRR). But strangely, the Symantec Secure One partner program press release contained little to no messaging involving MRR.

Still, Symantec is a mature company that has worked in and around the MSP and cloud markets for several years now. I've reached out to the company to see if the MSP and recurring revenue cloud opportunities are mentioned elsewhere on the Symantec partner website. (We'll update this article when we hear back from the company.)

Another Missed Opportunity?

Also of note: Symantec -- at least so far -- is noticeably absent from the IT Nation 2015 conference sponsor list. IT Nation is arguably the largest annual gathering of MSPs and channel partners focused on recurring revenues.

Many of Symantec's established rivals -- names like Kaspersky Lab and Sophos, which recently acquired Reflexion Networks -- are set to attend. And it's a safe bet emerging rivals -- names like Relyenz, a cloud security distributor built by former McAfee partner veterans -- will be on hand.

All that said, Symantec should not be underestimated as it sells off Veritas and returns to its pure security focus. Chief Marketing Officer Dan Rogers, working closely with Channel Chief John Thompson, will surely continue to polish Symantec's messaging and partner engagement strategy.

Joe Panettieri

Joe Panettieri is co-founder & editorial director of MSSP Alert and ChannelE2E, the two leading news & analysis sites for managed service providers in the cybersecurity market.