The vast majority of Symantec's security and storage business remains on-premises. But the software giant continues to expand its Symantec Hosted Services business, which has attracted roughly 200 new partners worldwide in the past quarter, according to Helen Cendrowski, director of channels-Americas. So where are Symantec Hosted Services heading next? Here are some clues from Cendrowski and some speculation from The VAR Guy.

First, let's stick with the facts. The Symantec Hosted Services global partner program has multiple tiers:
  • Associate Program: This level is designed for partners (particularly influencers and consultants) with occasional referral opportunities that want to earn commissions on new contracts and upgrades; there is no minimum referral commitment. The Associate Program offers 15 percent commission on new business and upgrades.
  • Premium Associate Program: For partners that want to develop an ongoing referral business and earn recurring commission on new contracts, upgrades and renewals and have the ability to meet minimal requirements. The Premium Associate Program offers 15 percent commission on new business, upgrades and renewals.
  • Authorized Reseller Program: An entry-level reseller program with entry requirements and a minimal investment from the partner after a small remote set-up procedure, Symantec says. The program provides a 20 percent margin with the option of all ongoing customer support obligations fully managed by Symantec Hosted Services, the company adds.
  • Hosted Applications Provider Program: An exclusive-access OEM program that allows partners to incorporate the Symantec hosted security services into hosted applications, such as Hosted Exchange. The VAR Guy hasn't been able to track down margin information for this program.

Keeping Score

What types of partners and customers embrace Symantec Hosted Services? The answer ranges from small businesses to mid-size MSPs to large, global service providers, notes Cendrowski.

In the past three months, roughly 200 new partners have joined the program. As a whole, the Symantec Hosted Services business has attracted more than 4,800 partners, Cendrowski adds.

So far, the Symantec Hosted Services partner program focuses mainly on security solutions -- such as endpoint protection, email encryption and email security.

Remaining Questions

So, here's the multi-million-dollar question: Will Symantec Hosted Services ever support storage management? After all, Symantec ranks among the leading providers of on-premises storage and security. And both of those technology areas are low-hanging fruit in the world of cloud and SaaS services.

Cendrowski politely answered The VAR Guy's questions but she declined to speculate if or when Symantec Hosted Services would gain storage-oriented services.

Also of note: At the Symantec Partner Engage conference in November 2009, CEO Enrique Salem predicted that the vast majority of Symantec's business would remain on-premise, even as Symantec gradually marched toward $1 billion in annual cloud-related revenues over the next few years. Moreover, most of the Symantec Partner Engage content involved on-premises opportunities for channel partners.

Symantec Partner Engage 2010

The VAR Guy wonders: Will Symantec adjust the Symantec Partner Engage 2010 content a bit to reflect growing cloud opportunities and competition? After all, Intel is buying McAfee -- owner of MX Logic, the SaaS-based email protection system promoted by scores of VARs and MSPs. Plus, Trend Micro earlier today launched cloud-centric security services for partners.

With those factors in mind, The VAR Guy suspects Symantec Hosted Services and cloud themes finally grab the spotlight at Symantec Partner Engage 2010, which is scheduled for early November in Las Vegas.

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