Customer needs come first as Symantec revises channel strategy

Symantec is asking resellers to move away from a product sale to focus on delivering wider solutions that meet customer needs

Symantec is moving channel partners away from a product centric approach to selling to one based around solutions that meet customer needs as it gears up resellers for a change in its approach to marketing and sales.

The vendor unveiled changes at its recent Partner Engage event in the US and has already taken steps to support its strategy reducing the emphasis on 150 different products to one around 10 possible solutions that resellers could sell.

It has also invested in a Dublin-based call centre that will provide more partners with the chance to chat to an account manager over the phone as it pledges to be easier to work with.

Mark Nutt, vice president of EMEA partner management at Symantec, said that that it had around 50 different types of channel partner before it embarked on its latest strategy but had now categorised them into seven groups that made it easier to tailor support to resellers.

But he added that there were areas where it needed to invest, around cloud providers, and recruit, with an ambition to bring more managed service specialists on board and there would be investment in those relationships and areas that would bring growth.

"We are trying to do it from a customer's perspective. We want to think about the core offerings and work out what problems are they going to help customers solve," he said.

He added that one of the consequences for partners would be greater involvement with the vendor's portfolio as they sold complementary products to help users deal with specific pain points.

EMEA partners were given warning of the new strategy starting and Nutt said the feedback had been positive, "it is very clear where we are and where we are heading".

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