ARN understands that for larger partners and their larger customers that already had established processes in place to buy and renew Symantec licences prior to the acquisition, the changes are not likely to disrupt business processes too dramatically.
For many smaller players, however, it is likely to cause some headaches. It is understood that every new order for Symantec products requires a vendor quote. Distributors are not able to place such an order without a valid vendor quote number. But not all partners are aware of the appropriate vendor quote number, sources indicate.
According to sources, this factor is putting pressure on smaller partners that are now seeing an influx of end customers rushing to find a channel player through which to renew or buy fresh Symantec product licences now that they can’t do it online themselves.
But with the breakdown in the established processes for Symantec licence renewal and purchases comes opportunity.
Partners that are able to navigate the new processes involved in dealing with the Symantec brand’s products are potentially in a position to pick up some reseller action where previously they may have been cut out of the transaction.
At the same time, new opportunities are opening up for competing vendors, with some sources suggesting that competitor Sophos is actively working to pick up end customers that are struggling to obtain or renew Symantec licences under the new regime.
Certainly, online forum commentary suggests that a number of end customers are jumping to Sophos under their own steam after struggling to renew their Symantec licences. For its part, Sophos has said it is working to provide coverage for end users who may be looking for alternatives.
“Sophos and its partner community have set up programs, including assessment and migration services, to help migrate customers to our platform to ensure they remain protected,” Sophos managing director for Australia and New Zealand John Donovan told ARN.
“Many partners we have spoken to, who had previously worked with Symantec, are in the process of evaluating how they best manage their customers’ existing and future cyber security needs and to assist with this, Sophos has invested heavily in providing comprehensive on ramps to the Sophos Partner Platform,” he added.
It seems that the core issue among many partners, and even some distributors, is the evident lack of communication by Broadcom with the channel more broadly about how organisations should engage with Symantec going forward.
There is some hope, however, that over time the issues will be smoothed out and partners can get on with the job of helping end users with their Symantec licensing. As yet though, there are still many questions that appear to remain unanswered.
Broadcom had not responded to ARN’s queries at the time of writing.