Channel partner programs, Mergers and Acquisitions, Networking

Symantec Buys Blue Coat: Channel Partner Strategy?

Dan Schulman
Dan Schulman

Amid Symantec's buyout of Blue Coat, plenty of VARs and MSPs are wondering about the combined company's channel partner program.

So far, the Symantec-Blue Coat business combination -- announced on June 12 -- involves three key communication points:

Alas, ChannelE2E has not seen channel partner mentions in any of the communications so far (did we overlook something?).

During the Wall Street briefing (continuing right now), Symantec and Blue Coat leaders mentioned a continued commitment to "maintain sales force momentum," though there will be consolidation "between marketing programs and back office functions."

The combined company will have $4.4 billion in revenue and be positioned for solid growth, according to Symantec Chairman Dan Schulman.

Surely, much of that revenue will involve channel partners. But so far the announcement hasn't mentioned that partner commitment. During a Q&A with Wall Street analysts, Greg Clark -- set to become CEO of the combined company -- described how Symantec and Blue Coat will focus on end-to-end security. He mentioned a range of deal upsides for the customers -- but didn't mention partners.

Symantec, Blue Coat Finally Mention the Channel

Updated, 8:41 a.m. ET: When a Wall Street analyst asked why the timing of the deal was right for network and endpoint security, he also asked about evolving go-to-market strategies.

In response, Clark said end-point and network security will be ideally combined to protect the mobile work force. He also briefly mentioned NTT & AT&T as key service provider partners. But he made no mention of broader, go-t0-market channel strategies.

Updated 8:47 a.m. ET: Clark finally mentioned a commitment to "take good of our channel" when asked about ongoing commitments to the combined company's sales force and go to market channel. It was a brief statement but at least he finally said the channel word.

ChannelE2E continues to monitor the Wall Street briefing for more updates, and have asked Symantec and Blue Coat for additional channel-centric thoughts on the deal.

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.