Symantec does damage control to soothe channel partners

Everyone's talking about Symantec's changes to its channel partner program, in which certain large deals were taken direct. Symantec downplayed the move, indicating that only a few large accounts were involved, and the SMB segment still remains channel-based.

Symantec said that as far as the SMB market is concerned, their efforts at automated renewals won't cut the channel out, and partners will still get commissions. What's interesting is that Symantec's VP of the Global Channel Office, Julie Parrish; and the COO, Enrique Salem, seem to be talking in different directions. C-level execs, as the most public faces of a company, is (or should be) public relations experts, but this one seems to speak before he thinks, having said that he didn't think that "somebody who's working with the channel is driving as much value as somebody who's working with a Global 2000 firm." Say what?! Whether what he says is true or not is besides the point, what he's done is completely alienate the entire channel structure that drives SMB sales for Symantec.

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