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Symantec adds tiers to hosted security services channel program

This week Symantec announced three additional tiers that will expand the company's Hosted Services global partner program.

In an effort to target partners entering the Software as a Service (SaaS) market, Symantec Corp. announced three new levels to its Hosted Services global partner program this week.

The three added tiers, Premium Associate, Authorized Reseller and Hosted Applications Provider, demonstrate the antivirus and endpoint security company's willingness to put significant resources into the SaaS model.

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Symantec Hosted Services, which has over 4,800 global partners, has been driven both by the company's acquisition of MessageLabs and the continued increase in adoption of Software as a Service (SaaS), according to Helen Cendrowski, director of channel programs in the Americas.

The Authorized Reseller program offers partners hosted services aimed at securing and managing email, Web and IM communications. In this arrangement, the authorized reseller manages the sale and client relationships, while Symantec offers the technical, sales and marketing tools via its MessageLabs Partner Extranet. The Authorized Reseller Program acts as an entry-level reseller program and provides a 20 percent margin.

Symantec also added a new premium level to its associate program, which offers 15% commission on new business, upgrades and renewals. Requirements, which may vary by region, include a minimum of five new referred customers per year, as well as participation in training and marketing tutorials through online tools. The Associate Program, which will remain intact, offers 15% commission on new business and upgrades.

The final addition announced Wednesday, the Hosted Applications Provider Program, allows partners to incorporate the Symantec-hosted security services into hosted applications. "[Partners] may be hosting others applications, but basically if they're hosting Exchange or Lotus or any of the email applications, they can include our product with their solution offerings. They can create and enhance their offerings and increase their revenue based on the customers that they're hosting all the applications for," said Cendrowski.

The Hosted Application Program offers email antivirus, encryption, IM security and Web filtering services to partners. Training and certifications will be offered by Symantec for the MessageLab services.

"A regional, classic reseller who is selling software, now can sell these products in a subscription-based model," added Cendrowski.

The move is another example of Symantec's recent focus on hosted security services. At Symantec's 2010 Vision Conference last week, CEO Enrique Salem emphasized the need to enable partners to take advantage of a blossoming hosted services market. He said hosted security services will make up 15% of the company's revenue within the next five years.

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