Security outfit Symantec is nearly ready to roll out its unified partner programme which merges its own channel with that of Blue Coat.
For those who came in late, Symantec bought Blue Coat last year for $4.65 billion and is working out a way of merging the two channels.
Symantec is to launch a Secure One channel programme this Spring and it is pretty simple. There are two areas – core security and enterprise security and four tiers of registered, silver, gold and platinum.
The whole thing is being pitched as a chance for resellers to cross and up-sell.
Partners can boost their margins with opportunity registration on non-standard pricing deals, development funds for gold and platinum partners and the chance to get a performance rebate.
Symantec vice president for global partner sales Torjus Gylstorff said that partners will have the opportunity to cross-sell and up-sell, providing mutual customers with “leading solutions to solve the world’s biggest cyber security problems.”
Other key initiatives include transitioning Opportunity Registration to a front-end discount only, which ensures that the financials of doing business with Symantec will be more predictable.
The firm is going to share more details with partners as it gets closer to launch in April.
“With a $30 billion-dollar opportunity in cyber security, we will see massive growth potential in our industry this year. We’re excited about this new era for our company, our partnership and our program, and we look forward to defining the future of cyber security, together,” he said.
Anti-virus outfit Symantec is writing a $2.3 billion cheque for US identity theft protection company LifeLock.
The hope is the tech outfit can breathe new life into its Norton cybersecurity unit which has been suffering from the downturn in PC sales. Symantec’s security software often comes bundled with personal computers and while Norton remains profitable, its sales have been falling.
Symantec Chief Executive Greg Clark said that the acquisition will bring $660 million in revenue to the consumer business and returns it to longer sustainable growth.
Symantec recently bought Blue Coat Inc, which helps firms maintain security over the internet, in a $4.65 billion deal. Clark previously held the top job at Blue Coat, and made the switch after the deal closed.
LifeLock offers services such as monitoring new account openings and credit-related applications to alert consumers about unauthorised use of their identity. It also works with government agencies, merchants and creditors to remediate the impact of identity theft.
Fran Rosch, executive vice president of Norton Business Unit, said that Symantec had dabbled in identity security but had nowhere near Lifelock’s 4.4 million members.
Symantec expects to finance the transaction with cash on balance sheet and $750 million of new debt.
Beancounters working for analyst outfit Gartner have added up some numbers and divided by their shoe size and worked out that security software revenues have risen 3.7 percent and were worth $22.1bn in 2015.
The report said that security information and event management remained the fastest-growing sub segment of the cybersecurity market and saw a 15.8 per cent growth. Consumer security software recorded a 5.9 percent year-on-year decline.
The top five vendors were Symantec, Intel, IBM, Trend Micro and EMC and they accounted for 37.6 percent of the security software revenue market share, down.
These vendors saw a collective decline of 4.2 percent in 2015, while the rest of the market grew strongly at 9.2 percent year on year. In fact, of the top five only Biggish Blue grew and increased its revenue by 2.5 percent to reach $1.45billion.
Both Symantec and Intel Security both suffered from the long-standing decline of the consumer market for anti-virus products and services. But Symantec still remained on top despite suffering a third consecutive year of revenue decline and its highest decline in revenue over a three-year period.
Still at least it did better than Intel which saw revenues fall from $1.83bn to $1.75bn between 2014 and 2015.
Symantec talked up its channel plans even if its global sales boss, dubbed a “channel champion” has exited the company.
In a second-quarter conference call Morgan Stanley analyst Keith Weiss said he was concerned about the exit of Adrian Jones as Symantec’s head of global sales. Weiss called Jones a “channel champion”.
Symantec chief executive Mike Brown said Jones’ leaving will not put the brakes on Symantec’s channel momentum.
“The good news is, we have a pretty deep bench of folks with experience with the channel,” he said. “Symantec always have been a channel company. We’ve been a channel company for 30 years.
“So I think those partners who work with us for a long time know that our commitment is unwavering there. And it’s great that we’ve now introduced Secure One, our new channel programme, which now for the first time can be focused on security partners.”
He said that previously Symantec’s channel was previously more geared towards our Veritas business.
Symantec is spinning off its information management arm Veritas on 1 January but the duo split operationally on 3 October.
Veritas unveiled its new partner programme this week and apologised for some technical issues thrown up by the split last month.
Brown insisted when questioned that Jones’ leaving will not put the brakes on Symantec’s channel
“At our October partner event, the feedback was overwhelmingly positive as we laid out our strategy with the launch of Secure One, an enhanced channel partner programme tailored specifically for security-focused channel partners. The new programme consists of training, deal registration, technology support and incentives to drive the results for successful long-term relationships.”
Security outfit Symantec has been saying “oh look a badger” to reporters asking about its sale of its storage storage unit Veritas, for as much as $8 billion.
The dark satanic rumour mill claims that the floundering security vendor has approached NetApp, EMC and several private equity firms to gauge interest in the business. which the company purchased for $13.5 billion.
Veritas business has struggled to live up to expectations after sluggish demand for its storage and data management products.
The plan has been widely dismissed by Symantec, which wants to continue to split the company into two, independent publicly traded companies: one business focused on security and one business focused on information management.
Symantec said that it will separate Veritas and Symantec into two independently traded companies by the end of the calendar year. One focused on information management and one focused on security.
For the vendor, creating two standalone businesses will allow each entity to “maximise its respective growth opportunities and drive greater shareholder value.”
Michael Brown, president and CEO, Symantec has gone on record saying that Veritas remains a powerful brand that still has tremendous equity.
Motorola has been told by a US jury that it used an idea in a patent troll’s portfolio without permission.
Intellectual Ventures’ claimed that it invented multimedia text messaging, something that Motorola said it came up with.
The jury, which deliberated for about a day and a half, cleared Motorola on a second patent related to wireless bandwidth, which it said was invalid. Damages are to be determined later.
It was the second time the two companies faced off in court. The first round, in February 2014, ended in a mistrial after jurors could not agree on a verdict.
Another trial between the two, involving a single Intellectual Ventures patent related to detachable computer devices, is scheduled to begin Thursday.
Lenovo bought the Motorola handset division from Google in October.
Intellectual Ventures is one of the largest intellectual property owners in the world, with more than 70,000 patents and patent applications to its name. It only recently began suing companies in addition to its longtime strategy of licensing its wide array of patents.
It sued Motorola in 2011, alleging that several of Motorola’s mobile devices infringed its patents.
Intellectual Ventures insists that unlike some of the firms denounced as “patent trolls” it does not file frivolous lawsuits. Apparently the definition of a troll is now that the cases have to be frivolous, we thought that they had to be made by people who did not invent anything and were filed purely to make a company wealthy.
In February, Intellectual Ventures won a $17 million patent verdict against security software maker Symantec strengthening its track record in court.
The market for customised backup appliances reached $1 billion worldwide in the fourth quarter of last year.
This market represents standalone disk products that use software, disk arrays, server engines, and more specifically data coming from backup software.
IDC said that the market for this kind of kit rose by four percent in 2014 and generated revenues of $3.26 billion.
Annual capacity in 2014 rose by 42.8 percent compared to 2013 to a staggering 2.68 exabytes.
Liz Conner, a research manager at IDC, said reasons for the rise in revenues included better software, data tiering, file sharing, data analytics and more investment in integrated systems.
In the fourth quarter, top of the storage pile was EMC with 63.8 percent market share, dwarfing the other players Symantec (11.5%), IBM (6.7%), HP (4%) and Quantum (2.3%).
Anti-virus company Symantec said it has uncovered a clever piece of spyware that was probably designed by a Western government.
The spyware, called Regin, has been around for about six years and is clever enough to steal your passwords, go onto your hard drive and resurrect deleted files, and take screenshots.
Apparently, according to a Symantec executive interviewed on the BBC 4 radio programme Today, it has hit PCs in Saudi Arabia, Ireland and Russia.
But she declined to say which Western organisation had invented Regin and let it loose on the online world.
Symantec thinks the malware has parallels with the Stuxnet worm, jointly developed by cyber warriors in Israel and the USA to mess up Iran’s nuclear programme.
AV companies are now hustling to get an antidote out against Regin.
Revenues from the worldwide storage software market rose by 6.3 percent in the second quarter of this year, according to figures from IDC.
It said revenues during Q2 2014 came to nearly $3.8 billion.
The leaders in the pack were EMC, IBM and Symantec which had markt shares of 25.9 percent, 16 percent and 13.3 percent respectively.
Data protection and recovery software showed bigger growth, up 10.2 percent in the quarter, compared to the same quarter in 2013. Revenues for those totalled $1.45 billion. storage infrastructure sales amounted to $448 million. Storage and device management software sales rose by 4.1 percent to stand at $708 million.
Eric Sheppard, research director of storage software at IDC said there was broad growth over most markets.
”Sales of data protection and recovery software accounted for almost 60 percent of the spending during the quarter, driven by a market wide move to improve application resiliency, continued uptake in appliance based offering and healthy attach rates within the integrated systems market”, he said.
Two major security players – Intel McAfee and Symantec – have team up with other vendors and joined the Cyber Threat Alliance (CTA).
The CTA was originally formed by Fortinet and Palo Alto Networks in May this year. The aim of the alliance is to coordinate industry players to combat cyber hackers by collaborating on threats and sharing intelligence.
Information share will include info on zero day vulnerabilities, botnet command and control, mobile threats and shared malware samples.
The CTA has issued an open invitation to other organisations that share in its goals. It hopes that other major league security players will join them. It is offering membership not just to tech vendors, but to government agencies, non profit groups and corporations too.
Symantec VP Adam Bromwich said that because security breaches are bigger, cost more and happen more often, it’s teamed up to be a founding member of the CTA.
Vincent Weafer, a senior VP at Intel McAfee, said the industry need to cooperate and collaborate to prevent such threats. “This cyber alliance provides a critical framework for educating each otheron the infrastructure and evolving tactics behind these attacks, he said.
The Chinese government has banned anti-virus companies Symantec and Kaspersky Lab from working on government contracts behind the bamboo curtain.
A Chinese media report suggested Beijing is expanding efforts to limit use of foreign technology and Symantec, which is owned by the US and Kaspersky, which has Russian owners are no longer allowed to apply for government contracts.
The state-controlled People’s Daily reported that government procurement office had approved the use five anti-virus software brands, all from China: Qihoo 360, Venustech, CAJinchen, Beijing Jiangmin and Rising.
Kaspersky is apparently not giving up and is going to have a word with the Chinese authorities about this matter. It is too premature to go into any additional details at this time.
Beijing is keen on promoting use of domestic information technology products after leaks from former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden raised concerns about foreign surveillance programmes.
Symantec said that that China had banned use of one of its data loss prevention products and it was currently in talks about the ban. However, a Symantec spokeswoman said that there was no indication of a ban on the company’s flagship anti-virus software programs.
In May Chinese authorities had banned government use of Windows 8 “to ensure computer security after Microsoft ended support for its Windows XP operating system”, which was widely used in China.
Symantec resellers need not fear getting the chop as the security company unveils its new channel strategy .
Although a little light on detail, when asked about the current size of its partner channel and the ideal size of a future channel, Symantec’s VP of EMEA partner management, Mark Nutt, confirmed that having the right channel mix was more important than the overall size.
But there can be little doubt the vendor will be shedding a number of under-performing resellers and replacing them from some of the new partner categories it has identified – there are eight such categories, according to Nutt, who also stressed the important role for disties in the future of the Symantec channel.
“Distribution has a tremendous amount to offer but we need to work out where the value to our partners,” Nutt said. “Now that we’ve identified eight different partner types, we need to better understand which parts of the channel we need to explore, which to invest more in and which that streamlining.”
Although Nutt stressed he was “not looking to turn partners off; it’s not about reducing numbers” it looks likely some resellers will have to forge relationships with distributors, such as TechData, Arrow, Avnet, Ingram and Cohort.
Those disties that can help Symantec recruit from new partner groups will be of particular interest.
The vendor is also streamlining its product offering down from around 150 different products to less than 10, in order to make the task of addressing customer needs more straightforward for resellers.
The changes are part of a global strategy which will lead to a new partner programme which goes live in February 2014 but will be officially unveiled in April.
Symantec is also opening a telephone-based partner account management team that will be run from its Dublin offices.
Symantec has promoted Mark Nutt to vice president for EMEA partner management and will be tasked with planning and delivering a new EMEA channel strategy.
Nutt was hired by Symantec in 2011 to look after EMEA’s strategy and sales operations, where he was responsible for sales performance. Before that he was general manager at Morse, and he started his career in sales at HP, in 1987.
Nutt must lead a team to build Symantec’s partner programs and bring in profitable growth for Symantec and its partners, as well as simplifying Symantec’s operations with channel partners.
In a statement, Nutt underlined Symantec’s commitment to partners and distributors, adding it’s “vital that we enable partners to deliver superior value to customers and that, in turn, we demonstrate our commitment to directly supporting our channel partners’ business growth”.
With the departure of top EMEA exec Huw Owen from Good Technology back to Symantec, Good has announced Marcus Chambers as the company’s new veep and GM for the region.
Chambers intends to aggressively push the EMEA channel programme as a top priority, a well as building closer partnerships and rehashing formulated training and accreditation. Good calls this a rejuvenation of its EMEA channel.
Chambers previously has experience at Digial Equipment, 3Com, and EMC. More recently he was EMEA ops director for Cisco and, prior to the role at Good, EMEA VP at Riverbed for six years.
Chambers has been at Good since August 2013 and is based at the company’s London office.
With the uptake of Bring Your Own Device, Good and its security products have found themselves in a rather advantageous position. As the legacy of Blackberry is tarred and the company is turned into a watered down smoothie, corporate culture in the west is increasingly seeing the adoption of iPhone and Android. Good specialises in securing these devices at the app level, understandably a popular option for IT managers and CIOs who want to keep employees happy but the company secure.
Chief revenue officer at Good, Dan Stoks, speaking of Chambers, said the company needed someone who can manage the dynamic mobile environment as well as demonstrating and expanding the firm’s competitive advantage throughout EMEA.
“We have aggressive goals to help our customers embrace mobility in a way they haven’t before, and with his proven success in the region, I am confident that Marcus can help us achieve them,” Stoks said.
Speaking with ChannelEye, Marcus Chambers said his immediate areas of focus will “include working with the channel to build a repeatable, relevant offering to give them a simpler route to market”.
“Good Technology is a rapidly growing company and we’re in an industry that’s changing by the day,” Chambers said. “Keeping pace with this change through a strong Good architecture gives our partners a great foundation to build our future together, including our customers’ key mobility security app infrastructure”.
Good Technology’s VP and GM Huw Owen has been snapped up and appointed to VP sales and marketing for EMEA at Symantec.
Previously overseeing Good’s channel growth in Europe and introducing the firm to the Nordics, Benelux and the Middle East, Symantec has snapped him up to win and retain customers as well as growing in all regions across EMEA.
Owen has been named twice in Global Telecoms Business’ Top 40 Under 40 for telecoms, globally, and has been quoted regularly offering comment on mobility.
Before his time at Good, Owen was executive director at Lenovo’s EMEA team, where he helped in servicing and sales in EMEA and globally. He has also held positions at Veritas and Fujitsu, and served as senior director of EMEA northern region services at Symantec.
Commenting on his return to Symantec, Owen said the opportunities at Symantec are “huge”.
“The EMEA region is a key area of focus for Symantec, contributing significantly to the global company revenues,” Owen said.
Matthew Ellard, senior vice president EMEA, Symantec, said: “Huw has an exceptional amount of knowledge in the channel sector which will be of tremendous value”.