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A Year of Transformation: 2015 Channel Predictions

Symantec predicts the biggest channel game changers for 2015.

Disruption is a big word in technology, and during the past year the channel has continued to evolve around newer technologies including cloud, mobility and the Internet of Things. Just as the channel has changed, so has Symantec. In 2014, we launched our redesigned Partner Program and solidified our commitment to working collaboratively with our partners to meet changing channel demands and customer needs.

But our work isn’t done. We’ve taken stock of all that we’ve achieved with our partners this past year and are looking toward the future. Here are the biggest game changers we expect to see in 2015:

  • Partners should embrace the new ways customers buy technology: Newer consumption models, such as the cloud and mobile, may dictate how customers will want to purchase technology. Partners who have been selling products the same way for a long time may be in for a change. Next year, it will be very important for partners to evaluate how they’ll fit into this new world, ensure they’re ready for this type of integration and potentially adopt new selling strategies.
  • The hybrid cloud will become a huge revenue opportunity for partners: Hybrid cloud solutions offer true integration opportunities that aren’t yet being fully realized. We’re already seeing a big need to help companies leverage cloud innovation and connect to their existing systems. Partners with the right skill sets are needed to take on custom, on-prem consulting-based initiatives and deploy hybrid cloud solutions. While these types of engagements can be more complicated, they’re generally more lucrative. VARs and resellers will be able to distinguish themselves with their knowledge of this market, and how to integrate these technologies and systems together. We’re bound to see big opportunities here in 2015.
  • Clear partner strategy will be crucial with the changing nature of the channel: 2015 will be a transformational year for the channel, with an increasing need for automation, and products and services that support integrated verticals. Vendors will need to be transparent with their partners and create dynamic go-to-market strategies for all partner types—how the ecosystem of large partners can collaborate and where niche partners will fit in. When vendors maintain an open dialogue with their partners—and partners can leverage new ways to engage—it’s a win-win.
  • Expect future growth in the Internet of Things: Many companies that are looking to leverage the Internet of Things lack the expertise to design devices, or the infrastructure to securely collect data and derive relevant insights. We anticipate significant industry growth here, particularly in managed services, security, analytics and vulnerability assessments. Few vendors offer a complete solution, so integration services will be a big opportunity.

As you can see from our predictions above, we believe 2015 will be a year of opportunity for partners. While the channel continues to change, there will no doubt be challenges, but we’ll meet them by working closely with our partners. At Symantec, we’re excited for all that we’ll achieve with our partners in 2015. Cheers to a New Year of successful partnerships and growth!

Rick Kramer is vice president, North America Channel Sales, Symantec. Guest blogs such as this one are published monthly and are part of The VAR Guy's annual platinum sponsorship.

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