Through the recession there wasn't a great deal that you could do to make life better so one of the subjects that vendor's liked to talk about a lot was 'skilling-up'. The idea was that although there might not be too much money around the sensible way for partners to spend the time in-between waiting for the orders to come was by improving their skills.

More evidence that this approach to the market is not going to go away has emerged with the Symantec announcement that its channel programme from October is going to lean on technology specialisms including the likes of data loss prevention.

Cynics, and I'm slightly dithering over whether or not to become one, might well see this as the latest trend in partner programmes which will have a shelf life of a couple of years before things revert back to either focusing on vertical markets or even the low maintenance pack and plaque option.

But regardless of how long the focus on tech specialisations lasts it cannot do much harm for resellers to improve their technology knowledge. It looks like they will have little choice if more, as they will, follow in Symantec's wake.

This was first published in April 2010

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