Symantec outlines boost for sales to small business

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Security giant Symantec has outlined increased opportunities and support for resellers targeting smaller businesses -- including a new certification -- at its Vision forum in Sydney in the wake of its merger with Veritas.

Security giant Symantec has outlined increased opportunities and support for resellers targeting smaller businesses -- including a new certification -- at its Vision forum in Sydney in the wake of its merger with Veritas.

David Blackman, channel manager at Symantec Australia, said the vendor planned a number of initiatives that would affect the channel. The initiatives included a new certification, Symantec Certified Technical Specialist for small business security.

The new certification was for technicians who planned, installed, configured and managed Symantec antivirus, antispam, antispyware, and firewall software in small business environments, he said.

Other initiatives included new rebates for Microsoft-Symantec bundles targeting small business. Small business was defined by Symantec as companies with up to 100 users, he said.

"We're also introducing a few promotions today around BackUp Exec and LiveState Recovery," Blackman said.

The company also confirmed it would create a single partner program that combined "the best" of what Symantec's and Veritas' partner programs had to offer, he said.

He said resellers could get 20 percent off certain LiveState Recovery and BackUp Exec bundles with Microsoft Small Business Server bought via distribution partners.

"The other one is, if they buy BackUp Exec 10D and Microsoft Small Business Server, they'll get a $150 rebate for all BackUp Exec licenses included, cross-grade, upgrade and it goes until 28 December," he added.

Blackman estimated the entire Australia small business security market could be worth US$1 billion once all the storage, hardware and services were added in. "Customers are coming and asking for these solutions," he said.

IDC had estimated the security side of that equation last year was worth about US$225 million in Australia and the storage software market for the same period some US$130 million, he said.

Symantec was also scheduling a series of reseller seminars, webinars and briefings around the upcoming versions of BackUp Exec and LiveState Recovery. Resellers could enrol online, Blackman said.

The vendor was strong in antispam, antivirus, email archiving and storage or backup. Partners were doing "pretty well" selling those things but new opportunities were emerging in regulatory compliance, business continuity and email availability as well as security, he said.

Symantec sponsored a July study at the US-based Small Business Technology Institute that suggested small businesses were getting more vulnerable to information security threats as they adopted increasingly complex IT infrastructures and processes.

"Of the 1,000 small businesses surveyed, 20 percent have yet to implement virus scanning on their email systems and 75 percent have not been involved in any form of information security planning," Symantec said.

"The study found that small businesses require education and resources to help them understand information security issues, assess threats and implement adequate protection."



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