Symantec and Blue Coat Channels to integrate by March 2017

There’s a well-etched roadmap to integrate products, teams and channels of both security companies, executive says

One of the biggest merger of security giants -- Symantec and Blue Coat Systems -- will gather full momentum by early next year.

Since Symantec announced buying Blue Coat Systems for $4.65 Bn this June, there has been an accelerated intent towards successful integration of products, teams, cultures and channels.

Channels, the primary route to market for Symantec and Blue Coat, continue to be key focus post-merger too. "The integration is well on course and our teams are working with the channels of both vendors. It is a continuous process to further align their business with Symantec's overall vision around cybersecurity," said Torjus Gylstorff, Vice President, Global Partner Sales, Symantec.

Gylstorff, responsible for leading the global partner program along with global sales strategy for distributors, VARs, and resellers at Symantec added, "Our global GTM weighs heavily on the technical expertise and market reach of our channel partners. Blue Coat's channel imparts diversity and depth to our ecosystem."

The joint portfolio of Symantec and Blue Coat empowers channels to address more than 50 percent of the cybersecurity solutions' demands of their customer organisations, said Gylstorff.

Torjus Gylstorff was Vice President of Emerging Business at Blue Coat before being appointed a couple of weeks ago as the new global channel chief for Symantec. ChannelWorld enquired Gylstorff on the definite timeline of the channels' integration of both the vendors to defuse uncertainty (if any) amongst channel community. He replied, "We are taking measurable steps to hand-hold the ecosystem of Blue Coat and Symantec without disrupting the existing channel business of both vendors. We expect the complete integration of both the channel streams (Symantec and Blue Coat) by March 31, 2017."

"The joint portfolio of Symantec and Blue Coat now empowers channels to address more than fifty percent of their customers' cybersecurity posture," added Gylstorff. The channel partners of Symantec and Blue Coat were empowered on product roadmap, company vision, and channel strategy at Symantec Partner Engage 2016 event in Tokyo last week. "They will be kept informed by respective regional teams on a regular basis. A few joint sessions of GTMs and training have commenced with some partners," he says.

Little Overlap, Big Advantage

Symantec's leadership team and channel teams across regions are accentuating the role of the channels with this massive merger. "The global cybersecurity market is reported to be over $18 Bn with an approximate 9 percent CAGR globally and 12 percent in APAC. With Blue Coat portfolio; Symantec and its channels can now address a much larger part of this market," Gylstorff said.

Symantec's end point, email and DLP solutions do not overlap Blue Coat's network security and cloud (buy of Elastica) solutions as per Gylstorff. This gives a great opportunity for channels to upsell and cross-sell the technologies across the huge individual installed base of both companies over the years, he says.

"Symantec's end point, email and DLP solutions don't overlap Blue Coat's core offerings around network security and cloud. This opens up a colossal cross-sell / up-sell opportunity for channels across the huge installed base of both the companies."

The latest SEP (Symantec Endpoint Protection) 14 is multi-layered endpoint protection from file reputation and behavioural analysis to advanced machine learning AI. "The customers will get these advanced security solutions through channels. We believe Symantec is further opening up the cybersecurity market," Gylstorff adds.

"We are eliminating the primary inhibition of implementing advanced security solutions. The cloud based delivery model through our partners does not require security experts physically operating the equipment," Gylstorff says. The low end of the market will be more receptive to cloud based solutions besides the enterprise segment according to him. This will lead to the emergence of newer channel communities like MSPs, MSSPs, cloud providers in the security market, he says.

Profitability for channels remains the cornerstone of the vendor- channel relationship. Gylstoff agrees as he says, "Both -- Blue Coat and Symantec -- have been running successful partner programs with clear rules of engagement, incentives, technical support and other initiatives. That will continue even after we embark on a joint partner program in near future."

"The value proposition of new Symantec will attract newer partners as they can address a much larger part of security infra for their customers. And the array of security related services especially with cloud solutions throws an additional money-making potential for channels," says Torjus Gylstorff, Vice President, Global Partner Sales, Symantec.

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