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Wed 20 Feb 2008 11:31 AM

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Symantec carries out audit on Middle East operation

Operations audit conducted to check channel procedures and partners

Security software vendor Symantec has carried out an audit of its operations in the Middle East to ensure that its internal channel management policies are being followed.

An auditing team from within the company recently visited the region to scrutinise Symantec's business practices in the UAE and Saudi Arabia, which form the backbone of its operations in the Middle East. Symantec has an extensive two-tier partner network in the region, selling though more than 600 resellers and a large number of retail accounts.

The company is understood to have strict procedures for the way that business is conducted through partners as indirect transactions make up virtually all of its sales.

Symantec has declined to comment on the results of the audit, but Andrew Douglas, VP for emerging markets at the vendor, said the investigation was a "routine" measure that has also been carried out in a number of countries outside the Middle East.

"We have procedures within our regions where we have investigators come and check certain areas," he revealed. "I also have an audit team going into South Africa just to check our channel processes and make sure that we are seen to be fair and trading in the correct manor with our partners. It is routine and nothing untoward," he added.

Douglas recently visited Dubai to review the company's business plans and cement its strategies for the forthcoming financial year. "We have put four new channel heads into MENA and we are looking to recruit and expand further in our channel with regards to our services," he said. "We are on the look-out for new services partners to help us grow and work hand in hand in developing our opportunities here in the region."

Symantec says the drive to recruit new partners has already begun and it is looking to have established partnership deals in place in time for the start of its financial year at the beginning of April.

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