TORONTO – Symantec has revved up its partner portal in Canada, called PartnerNet, with more proactive marketing tools to enable resellers to create their own marketing campaigns cheaper and faster.

The faster part of the equation is the more important aspect of this portal site because of the

speed at which viruses such as Melissa, Love Letter, and Anna Kournikova can strike.

“”With security, timing is critical. If something comes out, bang, you have to be fast, and being fast adds value,”” said Kevin Krempulac, channel manager at Symantec Canada of Toronto.

Also part of the Symantec PartnerNet portal are special incentives such as the current firewall VPN appliance promotion where resellers get five free user packs of Norton Anti Virus. According to Krempulac, these promotions can be passed on to the customer and make the resellers competitive.

“”In the past, there was access to information and price sheets, but this allows them to create marketing campaigns they can choose. If a new threat is out and a partner wants to do a targeted direct mail campaign to prevent this threat, they can go to this portal, select campaign, upload the logo, and fulfill the mailing,”” he said.

With this new portal, resellers no longer have to send Symantec their marketing campaigns for approval, he said.

Education will also be a significant part of the updated portal site with more information and explanations on the latest products.

“”They are inundated and it’s difficult to find out what to do a campaign around. This will streamline the process and you do not have to get Symantec involved. It is truly one step and we made it easier and allows them to do more marketing campaigns.””

Krempulac said that the goal of this portal site, and inevitably the marketing campaigns the resellers produce, is to drive incremental business. Krempulac could not pinpoint how much revenue a reseller can make with the new PartnerNet, but London, Ont.-based reseller Attache Group believes it could be upwards of 30 per cent.

Mark Leyser, director of business development for Attache, said the company already has built up a significant network security practice and believes this tool will increase business and drive more revenue.

“”Security (margins) could be better. We are getting squeezed by the customer and we need to get into new accounts and grow existing ones,”” Leyser said.

All partners who have enrolled in the Symantec Partner Program have access to the portal site.

However, not all resellers will have access to all levels of the site. Enterprise level VARs currently will have access to backend rebates and other promotions. Krempulac said that those resellers who want to gain full access have to certify themselves and the process for moving up the enterprise level is clearly explained on the site.

“”Our goal is to raise education levels to make them security experts and drive more revenue, which is a win for Symantec, the reseller and the customer,”” Krempulac said.

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