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More Symantec partners may see vendor's security services assets

Symantec aims to spin out its security service enablement tools, dubbed the Partner Enablement Resource Kit, to more of its Gold- and Platinum-level channel partners.

Symantec Corp. plans to seek a wider channel audience for its updated Partner Enablement Resource Kit, or PeRK -- a tool set the company said helps Symantec partners build new and differentiated managed security services and joint security services for customers.

Today, no more than 70 Symantec partners globally use PeRK.

"We'd like all of our Gold and Platinum partners to take advantage of PeRK, and make services a key part of the way they do business and grow with Symantec," said Matthew Smith, senior director for global partner planning and transformation at Symantec, based in Mountain View, Calif.

Smith put together PeRK, and Symantec formally rolled it out to select partners in late 2013. He based it on lessons learned from working with the vendor's largest systems integrator partners for more than a decade. While the large SIs covered about 40% of the market, the remaining 60% of Symantec partners weren't delivering the type of Symantec engagement with customers or services the company wanted to see.

"So, PeRK is our way of helping these partners deliver services built on top of Symantec technologies," he said.

An initial beta tester for PeRK, Matt Reid, vice president of security at ITS Partners in Grand Rapids, Mich., said the program has come a long way since 2013, and that the latest iteration of PeRK turned his head.

"I watched a presentation on PeRK about six weeks ago, and it covered everything that I had concerns about," Reid said. Those concerns had to do with the need for the PeRK resources to be more focused and boiled down for partners.

So, PeRK is our way of helping these partners deliver services built on top of Symantec technologies.
Matthew Smithsenior director for global partner planning and transformation, Symantec

PeRK includes some internal Symantec resources that are not publicly published, such as internal intellectual property  and internal assets, as well as publicly published resources -- such as assessment tools, architecture diagrams, best practices, new hire playbooks, sample statements of work and service-level agreements, for example.

There are eight PeRKs that aggregate the Symantec assets or resources: data loss prevention, endpoint security, data center security, DeepSight, control compliance suite, mobility security, identity security and advanced threat protection, which is coming soon.

The PeRKs are designed to help partners build a variety of services -- such as advisory, consulting, managed, support, risk assessment and remediation, and security offering sales -- around each of the eight PeRKs.

The older delivery-level resource kits are still in use at ITS, and the partner long ago took the templates and modified them into the bones of their documents and aids. "It's the consulting tool kit, the checklists, common reports and deliverables, the test plans, project plans, statements of work verbiage -- essentially, if you take a smart person and their experience, and put that together with all this stuff, you have a consulting practice," Reid said.

For the time being, PeRK will only be within the reach of Gold or Platinum partners. "There's a huge amount of value in it, and we want to make sure that partners are heavily invested in Symantec and that we can invest differentially in them -- and this is one of the many ways that we do that," Smith said.

Symantec Platinum partner ITS, a $34 million business, was named Symantec Partner of the Year in 2005, 2007 and 2011. Reid admitted that the PeRK resources haven't been front and center at the company for several years. The recent PeRK presentation has given the partner new food for thought.

"It's like a breath of fresh air. I feel a whole lot better knowing that I don't have to go and build this stuff myself or leverage my team. PeRK gives us a really good start, and it's across more areas of the business we weren't touching before. It's the full scope," he said.

The four pillars of business at ITS are IT service management, asset management, systems management and risk management. The partner offers both project-based services and managed services.

The Symantec split with Veritas became official on Jan. 29, and just days later, on Feb. 4, Symantec announced that Silver Lake will make a $500 million strategic investment in the cybersecurity-focused company.

Reid is positive about the Symantec split with each company, Symantec and Veritas, getting out of each other's way. "Symantec is now able to flourish and take its game to the next level," he said.

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