Symantec calls on retail channel to protect the unguarded

By Patrick Avenell

SYDNEY, NSW: Retail business is currently accounting for a third of Symantec’s IT protection business, according to visiting CEO and president Enrique Salem.

At a press conference in Sydney last Friday, Salem said that not only was retail business a key component of Symantec’s business model, but that he was looking for more help from his channel partners to service the IT and internet security needs of consumers.

If you look at our business…consumers are about 30 per cent, and the other 70 per cent is roughly half and half between enterprises and business. Which one’s growing? If you look at it…they’re all starting to turn the corner, to stabilise, and I see a great opportunity in the SMB segment,” said Salem.

“When you look at the go-to-market strategy, we’re always going to use partners to reach many of these segments, and I’ve made a commitment that says, ‘As long as I’m CEO, every year we’ll do more through partners than the previous year’.”

When asked how many people in developed countries, that is, those comparable to Australia, were currently unprotected, Salem gave an idea of the untapped potential consumer base for local retailers of IT security to target.

Salem estimated that the current proportion of unprotected users was between 10 and 50 per cent. As his colleague, Symantec VP of consumer for Asia Pacific and Japan, David Freer, postulated, the consumer base is made up of many users who erroneously perceive themselves to be protected.

“Over 80 per cent of consumers are protected,” said Freer. “The problem is over half of them are using either outdated protection – [they] haven’t updated their subscription – [or] using software that is two years or older, which means it’s not covering for the current threats.

“So they’re perceiving that their protected, but because of all these factors I’ve just mentioned, they don’t have a level of protection that we would recommend as being appropriate.”

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