Posted: 4 Min ReadFeature Stories

Symantec’s Catalyst 2020 Event Delivers

Partners Get Center Stage Attention

Nearly a year after becoming part of Broadcom, a reinvigorated Symantec, a division of Broadcom (NASDAQ: AVGO), offered an in-depth look at the company’s retooled tech strategy to empower its partners on the front lines in the battle for enterprise cyber security.

Catalyst 2020, the company’s first virtual customer summit on global cyber security, featured updates from an assortment of executives, including Broadcom CEO Hock Tan, describing a myriad of changes at Symantec since last year’s blockbuster acquisition brought together two of the world’s leading enterprise technology companies.

The topics ran the gamut – everything from technology integration to new opportunities for closer collaboration – that reinforced the message to partners participating in the day-long event: This is a very different Symantec from the company they dealt with prior to Nov. 4, 2019.

“There’s no way getting around the fact that this year has been crazy,” said Art Gilliland, senior vice president and GM of the Symantec Enterprise Division. But today, Gilliland said, the post-acquisition churn was well in the rear-view mirror with Symantec taking the necessary steps to make “our innovation really hum.”

Yet Gilliland reminded the audience that the refashioned Symantec remains unchanged in one respect: It remains the market innovator when it comes to cyber security.

As he offered an insider’s view of the nearly year-long transition, Gilliland noted how the company’s streamlined operations and new efficiencies throughout the distribution chain have made it easier than ever to work with Symantec – all to the benefit of both partners and customers. He pointed to changes that reduced the number of SKUS along with more flexible licensing and pricing policies to eliminate extra paperwork and, ultimately, provide bottom-line  value.

Yet Gilliland reminded the audience that the refashioned Symantec remains unchanged in one respect: It remains the market innovator when it comes to cyber security. With Broadcom’s heft behind it, Symantec can deploy enviable resources to retain that advantage by investing in targeted R&D that will generate the leading-edge security tools and infrastructure needed to compete in the cloud era and help organizations succeed throughout ever phase of their digital transformation.

“We really understand the environmental and infrastructure changes you are going through,” he said, adding that Symantec is prepared to make sure its partners are ready to meet that new security challenge.

A Robust Cyber Security Arsenal

  • A key pillar in Symantec’s strategy is Integrated Cyber Defense (ICD), a platform that includes different security functions including endpoint security, identity security, information security, and network security both on-prem, in the cloud and hybrid. ICD remains an ongoing focus for Symantec, promising to continue to drive more integrations in the future.
    According to Rob Greer, Vice President Information Security Group, the ongoing integration of Symantec’s portfolio of products will soon feature a cloud-based console that security teams can use to manage information policies on-prem as well as in the cloud. That would be welcome news to overworked SOCs and other security professionals. Getting different security products to work seamlessly remains as big a challenge as ever. (It’s especially fraught when the products come from different companies.)  
  • Other speakers talked about recent product announcements offering enhanced security functionality. For example, Symantec’s new security services platform now extends protection that helps developers – famous for not being good at building security – develop secure apps in the course of their normal work routines.
  • Elsewhere, Adam Bromwich, Vice President Endpoint Security Group, took viewers on a guided tour of how Symantec’s new Threat Hunter capability, a new feature of Symantec Endpoint Security Complete, is finding thousands of attacks each month – most notably the discovery of WastedLocker, a particularly virulent form of malware used by the hacker group Evil Corp. 

    The roots of victory trace back to having the right tools to meet a new constellation of threats. Indeed, effective threat detection can’t rely solely on EDR. With Symantec’s Threat Hunter, Symantec’s analysts are able to take advantage of the company’s machine learning capacity to help SOC teams expose more attacks and identify potential breaches.

    “When you look at Symantec’s telemetry, we have 9 trillion lines (of code) and building every moment as we get new data from customers,” said John Holland (Principle Cyber Intelligence Analyst, CISSP). But that massive amount of information can easily overwhelm human analysts. That’s where having resources to targeted attack analytics that can quickly comb through data makes all the difference – and yields results, according to Holland.

A New Era for Symantec Partners

Beyond the sundry technology advances on display, Symantec also offered a customer update, including a new focus on the success of the company’s most strategic partners.

Karen Buffo, SED Chief Marketing Officer, said the goal would be to ensure partners came away with “a positive experience” working with Symantec. “We want to give them the ability to be more successful. We’re listening.”

And changes are afoot. In fact, Roy Borden, Symantec’s Vice President of Global Partner Sales, said Symantec had enacted “sweeping and fundamental changes” in the last 12 months. “We’re no longer trying to be all things to all organizations,” he said. “We’re focusing on organizations that invest with us. We’re also focusing on simplicity. We had a partner program that, quite frankly, required high-level math skills to figure out how much margin you were making. We’ve stripped the complexity out of the program and systems.”

Beyond the sundry technology advances on display, Symantec also offered a customer update, including a new focus on the success of the company’s most strategic partners.

At the same time, Borden promised partners that Symantec would equip them with both the tools and the customer access to establish “strong, long-lasting relationships with their customers. We’re not leaving you on your own.”

“You will see even more simplification around pricing and SKUs,” he said. “All this means spending less times on process and more time on selling. I couldn’t be more excited for our partner community.”

For access to all of the great content from Catalyst, don’t miss the “on demand” access here available only until Oct. 29, 2020.

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About the Author

Charles Cooper

Consulting Editor

Charles Cooper has covered technology and business for more than 25 years. He is now assisting Symantec with our blog writing and managing our editorial team.

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