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Symantec taking steps to strengthen channel pipeline

Security player Symantec has outlined plans to increase the efforts it makes to generate business for both its direct and indirect business

Symantec has outlined plans to bolster the support it gives channel partners in terms of lead generation as it plans to strengthen the pipeline for its enterprise business.

The security player has been revealing its strategy in calls with analysts to accompany its latest fourth quarter results and has indicated that it is putting some serious muscle into both its direct and indirect routes to market.
“Given the number of our new offerings coming, we are building a robust pipeline with our direct sales force and our channel complemented by new marketing efforts,” said Michael Brown, Symantec’s CEO.
“We are investing in a more powerful lead generation engine to improve the quality of the pipeline marketing is delivering to sales. We are adding 20% more quota-carrying field reps without increasing our sales spend by reducing further sales overhead,” he added.
The vendor is looking to focus on those resellers that can come to the table with specific security expertise and sign up to its Secure One programme, which provides certification and rewards.

Brown admitted that one challenge that it was facing was the move towards subscription based spending and that was having an impact on revenues.

“Beyond the changing cloud-based mix of our new products, customer buying preferences for our existing products are shifting to deals with more subscriptions or ratable revenue, to lower their capital expenditures and provide increased security as a variable operating expense. We expect this trend toward more subscriptions to continue, and as a result, we will see a headwind to the year-over-year comparisons for our in-period license revenue, which will be offset by a corresponding tailwind to deferred revenue,” he said.

The changing mix of licensing did have an impact on the bottom line with revenues in Q4 down by 4% to $873m. Non GAAP net income decreased by 28% to $147m.

There are not only plans to bring in a fresh CEO as Brown leaves but also to trim 10% of the workforce to lower costs.

We are tightening our focus on how we spend across the more than $1 billion of products and services we consume. We have identified over $100 million in procurement savings that we are in the process of achieving,” said Thomas J. Seifert , CFO and executive vice president at Symantec. 

“We are improving our organizational efficiency to remove layers of management, consolidate operations, and rebalance some positions to lower cost regions. These changes to the organization will result in just under $100 million in savings and reduce our net head count by approximately 1,200 positions,” he added.​

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