Symantec Puts Some SaaS into Partner Program

The company hunts for up to 40 large national resellers to be part of a new partner effort centered on growing SaaS revenue streams. Messaging and web security offerings will soon be added.

The growing Software-as-a Service (SaaS) market, a hot area for VARs and vendors seeking recurring revenue, has attracted another major player: Symantec. After two years of planning and designing its SaaS offerings and partner program, Symantec (Nasdaq: SYMC) recently went live.

The Symantec Protection Network Partner Program has two tiers, premier and select, with margins of 23 percent and 15 percent respectively. Symantec’s SaaS offerings, grouped under the Symantec Protection Network platform, are: Symantec Online Backup, Symantec Online Storage for Backup Exec, and Symantec Online Remote Access.

The vendor plans to add messaging and web security offerings following the close of its recent acquisition of MessageLabs, a leader in online message security.

While the new program is open to all existing Symantec VARs, premier-level partners must show a track-record selling SaaS and be committed to developing SaaS revenue streams, said Chris Schin, senior director of product management, Symantec.

“We will expect our premier partners to have 250 customers buying SaaS offerings from Symantec and other vendors,” he said. “In return for their commitment, they will receive high commissions, a dedicated account manager, and unfettered access to Symantec’s customer care resources.”

Schin said Symantec plans to sign between 20 and 40 companies at the premier level – large national resellers.

Symantec will train premier partners to provide comprehensive sales, ordering and service management support to their customers. These partners can sell SaaS as an authorized sales agent or by bundling SaaS with other hardware and software sales.

Premier VARs selling lots of SaaS will be able to conduct business without their customers incurring an immediate invoice. Instead, at the end of each quarter Symantec will send these VARs a report detailing the total amount of provisioned units for each end-user company.

“This will give VARs the freedom to bill their customers just for SaaS or to combine the bill with a bill for other services,” said Schin.

Select partners will only be able to sell SaaS as authorized sales agents, leveraging Symantec’s automated service account provisioning and billing. Under the agent model, Symantec will bill the end-customer directly and give the partner a monthly commission.

TAGS: security,SaaS,Symantec,VARs,Storage



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