Embracing specialisations

Fady Iskander, channel and commercial regional manager, Middle East at Symantec, discusses the company’s plan to get channel partners to specialise.

Tags: Symantec Corporation
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Embracing specialisations Iskander says Symantec is looking at expanding our channel enablement programme.
By  Manda Banda Published  November 26, 2013

Fady Iskander, channel and commercial regional manager, Middle East at Symantec, discusses the company’s plan to get channel partners to specialise.

Channel: What has been your company’s focus and business strategy for the Middle East channel in 2013?

FI: Significant investment has been made on a strategic level to ensure that the channel base in local markets across the Middle East region is fully supported. Symantec has put teams together based on a geographical focus by aligning sales, pre-sales and channels on specific regions that span across the Middle East, including the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Kuwait. Partners’ technical specialisations continue to be adopted across the Middle East, with 159 specialist partners across the region.

Channel: How is the company helping its channel partners to take advantage of the improving business climate in the Middle East?

FI: Symantec’s Partner Program aligns with long-term trends in channel partner markets by continuously updating educational and training materials, as well as specialisation programmes. Symantec’s channel programme in the Middle East provides partners with superior value, market differentiation and sustainable revenue opportunities through several schemes that reward partners for their total contributions.

Channel: What channel initiatives is your company rolling out in the Middle East?

FI: Symantec’s goal is to improve existing products and services, and at the same time develop new, innovative products and services that solve important unmet or underserved needs. Symantec is looking at expanding our channel enablement programme to include sales skills as well as pre-sales skills.

Channel: What is the state of the Middle East IT channel at the moment?

FI: The Middle East market has no different requirements for Symantec solutions just like other markets around the globe. The data generated by Middle East users is expanding more than ever, and this information needs to be secured and protected. The opportunities are extensive for both security and protection.

Channel: What role are your distributors expected to play to help strengthen your reach in the Middle East market?

FI: Symantec distribution partners are our vehicle to the market place as they have become increasingly focused on customers, enabling partners to address specific customer needs through a strategic relationship that offers IT solutions. By investing in themselves and their capabilities through Symantec specialisations, partners have been able to successfully differentiate themselves.

Channel: What would you say will be your major highlight at this year’s GITEX Technology Week?

FI: Following the growth in security threats in the Middle East over the past year, Symantec will be showcasing the Symantec Security Operation Center (SOC) to demonstrate its managed security services and global intelligence network that monitor cyber threats worldwide consumer products.

Channel: What role is expected from your distributors going forward given that cloud adoptions are picking up in the Middle East?

FI: Symantec has a wide range of cloud-based offerings for businesses in the region, allowing them to consume services directly, build their own cloud for internal operations or external reach, or extend into third-party clouds safely and efficiently. Symantec is enabling its distribution partners to provide software and services to effectively meet those needs – whether they are in the cloud, on-premise or hybrid, Symantec’s solutions deliver.

Channel: What can your channel partners expect from Symantec in the next 12 months in the Middle East region.

FI: Symantec is focused on giving our partners greater control and flexibility within our channel programme and the opportunity to plan for better achievement of goals and targets. We set a great foundation with specialisations in 2012, and we are building upon that with next-generation specialist programmes and resources.

Channel: What technology or business trend is your company tracting in the next two years?

FI: Symantec has recognised that endpoint security is no longer enough for businesses in the Middle East and organisations need to employ an in-depth security strategy that includes a mix of aware, educated end users, strict policies and procedures around testing security vulnerabilities, securing information and responding to issues that may arise; and having up to date technologies. In addition, Symantec unveiled a range of new specialisations to current programmes for partners to develop expertise in these include: Mobility Specialisation, Partner Management Console for MSPs and SMB Specialisation.

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