Both Symantec and McAfee are redrawing how they want the channel to function and they are both moving to a position where resellers will be expected to fall into line behind certain solution offerings which are based on technology.
The idea is that no longer will the emphasis be on trying to sell kit in an ad hoc way but instead to put a suite of things together and then sell it as a data loss prevention solution for instance. The solution bundles depend on the breath of the vendor portfolios and the language they would use to describe threats but the most obvious are around network and end point security.
As the channel continues to converge this solutions selling approach might well be replicated in other markets. From a reseller perspective you sense the challenge won't just be getting all the necessary accreditational boxes ticked to sell the solution but also a possible problem with customer awareness.
In the past one of the biggest complaints about accreditation schemes has been the lack of promotion to users so a reseller having made a great deal of investment finds that actually not that many people understand or recognise it.
Making the channel sell solution bundles might well suit the agenda of the vendors but unless they make sure it has some resonance with customers it will fail to be the advance for the channel that it at first appears to be.
This was first published in May 2010