I'm Kevin Mikalsen and I've been part of the Symantec University for Partners for nearly 5 years and as of September, I was asked to step up and lead the Enterprise Partner Readiness and Enablement efforts. In this blog, I’d like to share some reflections on the first 100 days in my new role and gather your input on how we are doing and what you'd like us to do more of.
First, I'm very fortunate to be leading such a great team focusing on global partner readiness & enablement. Secondly, ours is a global team and we have a great relationship with the channel leadership in all the regions and that is something we'll continue to maintain. Lastly, and most importantly, I recognize that in order to be successful in my new role I have to turn my voice off and my hearing on. I have to really listen to what our partners, channel sales/marketing teams that support the partners have to say. I started reaching out to Channel Partners, Symantec Regional Channel Marketing & Sales; analysts like IDC and Corporate University Exchange; and peers like VMware and Cisco — just to name a few. I learned a great deal from all my interactions. Here are just a few of my findings…
- Industry Leadership, Symantec Channel Readiness & Enablement: According to analysts, we are above average in leadership with our enablement efforts. We could be doing better, but partners are often unaware of the tools we provide, or overwhelmed by the complexity of our offerings — action is needed to simplify the offerings and increase the awareness and utilization of the tools we offer.
- Training Enablement: is very good and continues to get better. However, we need to press for development of delivery solutions for mobile devices (general trend, overall) and make the training tools more interactive/engaging to users: a PowerPoint deck with a recording is not going to make the grade in the future.
- Value Messaging: We need to continuously demonstrate the value of the Symantec Partner Program (including Specializations and Enablement) to our partners, so they fully understand and capitalize on the return on their investment with Symantec.
- Partner Communities: have been steadily growing in size and importance as the exchange of information grows. Those that are engaged are really engaged. But there are a lot of lurkers out there — how do we get them them?
I’ve come to the conclusion that communication – whether internally or externally – is the key to our group’s success. And I’m fully committed to keeping our lines of communication with our partners open and collaborative. If you have any comments about this blog or ideas for channel enablement opportunities/tools/training you’d like to see Symantec pursue, reply back to this blog and let the conversation begin.
Happy New Year, and I look forward to hearing from you!
Kevin Mikalsen - Sr. Manager, Symantec University for Partners