Managed services providers (MSPs) are finally on the map at Symantec. One piece of evidence: When Symantec today named John Eldh VP of channel sales for the Americas, his job description included support for MSPs. This is the latest in a growing list of small but significant MSP-centric milestones for Symantec.

Eldh succeeds Randy Cochran, who has left Symantec to pursue new opportunities. Symantec spoke highly of Cochran's contributions and wished him well in the new endeavor (whatever that may be...). At the same time, Symantec

In a letter from Symantec Senior VP Rich Spring to partners, Spring specifically called out to MSPs within the broader Symantec partner ecosystem. He wrote:
"For the new fiscal year, John Eldh will assume the role of Vice President of Channel Sales for the Americas. In this role he is responsible for Symantec’s enterprise channel strategy, as well as partner programs for all market segments, including: SMB, mid-market, public sector, Value Added Resellers (VARs), Managed Service Providers (MSPs), national partners, and distribution."
MSPs weren't always part of Symantec's vocabulary. Under Cochran's leadership, Symantec in the past year has gradually discovered and engaged the MSP community. First, Symantec announced plans to integrate with Kaseya and other RMM (remote monitoring and management) tools. Then, Symantec announced an MSP-centric strategy at IT Nation, which arguably is the largest annual gathering of MSPs and hosted by ConnectWise.

Still, there's an ironic twist: Symantec is one of the world's largest providers of security and storage software. But in the MSP world, many rival software companies have long offered MSP-centric licensing programs. It wasn't until late 2011 or so that Symantec finally countered those efforts and started working hard to engage MSPs in the SMB market.

Now, it's up to new Symantec Channel Chief John Eldh to continue those efforts. The good news for MSPs: Eldh has extensive cloud experience, having previously run sales for Symantec.cloud. That means Eldh understands recurring revenue models, service level agreements, and other items that blanket both the managed services and cloud services markets.