Understanding your ‘most important’ data

LAS VEGAS – At its annual Vision conference here, Symantec Corp. urged its partners and end-users to take control of their information and simplify their IT security infrastructures.

Enrique Salem, president and CEO of Symantec, said one of the biggest challenges that today’s organizations face is in trying to simplify their IT environments.

“There are so many point products in an organization now, and a priority for us is to help simplify the environment so customers can spend more time on running the business instead of having to worry about running IT,” Salem said.

During the conference, Symantec executives spoke about Data Insight, an integrated software solution launched last month, which monitors data usage within an organization to help keep track of who owns, uses and modifies information.

“Data Insight makes end-to-end remediation easy because you know who the owner (of the information) is,” Salem said.. “It also allows organizations to improve their data governance by providing more visibility and helping companies identify what their most critical information is.”

The technology is integrated into Symantec’s Data Loss Prevention solution suite and also spans across the company’s other security and storage solutions.

Channel partners must help their end-user customers realize that they can’t treat all data the same, Salem advises.

“With end-users, partners should help their customers find the one or 10 per cent of the most important information (within an organization) and educate them on the importance of it,” Salem said. “Partners need to help customers understand why that particular information needs to be protected and they need to explain if that information gets stolen, why it would be a problem. There’s no need to protect everything, but instead, to protect the mission-critical information.”

In other partner-related news, Symantec also announced it was expanding its consulting services strategy with its channel community moving forward.

“At PartnerEngage last year, we decided it was important to bring our partners closer to us and we started a Sell-With program to help partners sell more services,” Salem said. “We’re extending the program so partners are now more actively engaged in service delivery. This makes us more scalable and makes it easier for customers to get the resources they need.”

As part of its expanded services strategy, the majority of Symantec’s consulting services will now be made available through the company’s global network of partners.

In the U.S., the transition towards this services delivery model will begin immediately. In other markets the transition will be made over the next 12 months.

In order for partners to be ready for this new wave of opportunity and customer engagements, Salem suggests that partners become specialized in areas such as security, storage or systems management. He advises partners to not try to be a “jack-of-all-trades” and instead become specialized in specific products. To help its partners, Symantec is offering resources such as financial incentives, access to intellectual property and education materials.

“We’ve reduced some of the barriers that partners used to face and we’re reducing conflict with our channel,” Salem said. “We want to reach more customers and the best way to do this is by having our partners have a bigger and more important role with us.”

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