Vendor Q&A Series: Torjus Gylstorff, Symantec


Describe your company in five words or fewer.

Large cyber security vendor

Tell us about how your channel program works.

Symantec’s Secure One partner program has two competencies, Core Security and Enterprise Security, designed to align with a channel partner’s selling motion. Core Security aligns to a transactional sale of popular security solutions. Enterprise Security aligns to a solution sell where more technical expertise and customer support is required. Both have access to Blue Coat solutions.

The program has four tiers: Registered, Silver, Gold and Platinum. In Core Security, moving up the tiers requires the partner to meet sales thresholds. In Enterprise Security, moving up the tiers requires both meeting sales thresholds and technical certifications. These certifications are attributed to people, not subject matter, so a channel partner can meet Platinum certification requirements by having three people certified in one subject, or three people certified in three subjects. This helps channel partners align certification to their area of focus.

Platinum-level Enterprise Security partners receive the most benefits, such as the highest front-end discounts through opportunity registration, access to development funds and performance rebates, renewal incumbency and advanced support.

What do you think is the most challenging trend in the channel today?

One of the most challenging trends in the channel is the dramatic shift in business to the cloud. The cloud has introduced new business models that channel partners need to embrace, but those business models are fundamentally different from what many traditional channel partners have employed to build their business.

Meanwhile, some cloud-first channel partners understand these new business models, but may be companies that are smaller in size and therefore find it hard to scale to meet the needs of large enterprises.

As a vendor we have to take these aspects into account when we define our offerings and the optimal channel to effectively serve customers.

The cloud has also introduced new security risks for large enterprises, which presents a complex challenge for channel partners. Channel partners need to help their customers protect data and applications in the cloud, and yet the security requirements in the cloud are often dynamic, very complex and require a level of integration that is difficult for channel partners to do on their own. Partnering with strategic security experts with an integrated platform will become key for channel partners to be successful.

If you had to give your channel partners one piece of advice, what would it be?

Think cloud first.

Enterprises are moving to the cloud in a dramatic way, and most enterprises are on track to a hybrid between cloud an on-premise. Channel partners need to rethink their model of servicing these enterprises.

Subscription and pay-as-you-go models are fundamentally different, and channel partners need be precise about how they add value for customers in deploying, integrating, subscribing and provisioning such services. They also need to think differently about how they help customers protect data and apps in the cloud. Securing the cloud requires a deeper level of integration and a platform approach.

What are the three most important things partners need from vendors to be successful?

In the cyber security market, channel partners need a strategic security vendor who can deliver a platform approach that will meet the needs of enterprises who are quickly shifting to the cloud.

Second, they need a committed partnership – one that puts the channel first, is based on trust and transparency and provides tools and incentives to drive a profitable business.

Third, channel partners need a vendor who has the security expertise and technology to combat today’s advanced multi-phased, multi-staged attacks.

What is your favorite conference location?

While I have attended conferences and business meetings around the world, my favorite conference location is San Francisco. The concentration of technology innovation in the San Francisco Bay Area is second to none, and every time I attend conferences in San Francisco I equally enjoy meeting the extended cyber security family and seeing the amount of innovation and initiatives across many areas of technology.

What IT trends do you expect to see dying out over the next 18 months to two years?

In the enterprise, the idea that one “endpoint” means one “person” is no longer true. With the introduction of cloud apps and data, one employee may access company information through any number of endpoints, either personal- or company-owned. This trend of accessing company apps and data through any device increases a company’s security risks and expands the perimeter of the “company network” beyond the company walls. It also opens up opportunities for attackers to infiltrate and set up multi-staged, multi-phased threats.

The trend that will die out is the notion that enterprises can buy one security solution from one vendor and a second security solution from a second vendor and be soundly protected. Attacks have increased, are ever-changing and have evolved to multi-stage and multi-phased. The idea that you can put together a LEGO set of cyber security solutions and keep an enterprise protected is now a fallacy. Enterprises need a platform approach to protect their apps and data in the cloud and to keep up with the ever-changing attack landscape.



Torjus Gylstorff is VP of worldwide partner sales at Symantec. He joined Symantec as VP of worldwide partner sales, renewals and customer retention following the company’s acquisition of Blue Coat, Inc., which completed in August 2016.  At Blue Coat, Torjus served as VP of emerging business, where he played a key role in building Blue Coat’s Advanced Threat Business and led turnaround initiatives in Asia Pacific and in Japan.

Prior to joining Blue Coat, Torjus was VP of worldwide sales at Norman Shark. From 2004 to 2010, Torjus held various sales and leadership positions at IBM.






Source: Vendor Q&A Series: Torjus Gylstorff, Symantec