Symantec to partners: Be patient

Symantec Corp.’s Canadian VARs will have to wait awhile before the company lets them resell its managed security services here. Although service providers and integrators in the U.S. have been able to resell the service for a year, the company feels this country isn’t big enough yet.

“”We

have plans to launch that product in the near future,”” said Michael Murphy, general manager of Symantec Canada. But, he added, it will come “”when and only when the Canadian marketplace is ready or has matured to the point that there is significant opportunity for our partners, and that’s not the case today.

“”And I don’t know when that will be. That depends on the market.””

Meanwhile, Symantec’s sales staff will keep selling managed services here. Murphy couldn’t say how many customers there are.

Symantec’s managed services include remote monitoring of security devices, including collection of data from firewalls, intrusion detection sensors and antivirus software, and, for an extra fee, alerting customers based on the results.

At least one Symantec enterprise VAR would like to be able to resell the service. “”We believe it would be viable here,”” said Nick Curry, president and CEO of Qunara Inc. of Winnipeg, the solution provider arm of Manitoba Telecom Services Inc. “”There’s a market for it Canada.””

But Murphy doesn’t think there are enough large-sized firms to allow resellers space to compete. Most Canadian companies have fewer than 100 employees, he explained. “”It is going to take some time for Canadians to believe they don’t have the expertise to manage security environment, that it is best left to a value-added partner or a security company that has that expertise. To date the significant opportunity I see will take some time.

“”Typically Canada lags behind the U.S. in technology anywhere from six to 12 months, so that lag is probably no different in managed security services.””

But when asked that means Symantec won’t bring its managed services partners program here by the end of this year, he refused to speculate on when it will be launched.

“”The Canadian marketplace today is not where it needs to be in terms of embracing security technology,”” he added, which puts companies further behind the accepting the idea of remote-managed security.

“”My hope is that the adoption of (security) technology continues to grow and therefore the need for the management of that security technology grows in proportion.

The U.S. program offers service providers and consultants the tools needed to sell the Symantec offering as well as helping them learn implimentation and configuration skills. Partners make money through the sale of the service and the opportunity to also sell implimentation and training

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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Howard Solomon
Howard Solomon
Currently a freelance writer. Former editor of ITWorldCanada.com and Computing Canada. An IT journalist since 1997, Howard has written for several of ITWC's sister publications, including ITBusiness.ca. Before arriving at ITWC he served as a staff reporter at the Calgary Herald and the Brampton (Ont.) Daily Times.

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