Recently, vice president and general manager of Symantec (NSDQ: SYMC) Public Sector, GiGi Schumm sat down with CRN to discuss the cyber legislation on the hill, the direction of Symantec and how the firm is a thought leader in cybersecurity.
“Symantec is very reliant on our channel and on our partners, and in the public sector, virtually all of our business goes through partners, from small resellers and VARs up through the large systems integrators,” Schumm said. “It’s a nice community in that it’s a space for lots of different kinds of partners. A couple of the themes that we’ve heard here include that in addition to the technology, [public sector technology buyers] need people who understand their environments and the technology — understand data center consolidation, security and everything. So those are real opportunities.”
When asked about the growth of opportunities despite spending cutbacks, Schumm replied: “In lots of agencies, there are those programs where they say we’re going to do this large-scale refresh or whatever, but more often than not, you find an agency saying we need to implement network access control, or compliance technology, or a DLP program — something where a VAR has specific expertise.”
Schumm also discussed the ongoing efforts to reform FISMA and federal cybersecurity.
“One of the big ones is acquisition reform,” Schumm said. “That’s a place where we’ll all be focused. I think that’s good news for all of us, too, because the enemy … well, the enemy doesn’t have the same sort of procurement processes and regulations that we do. They operate under a different set of rules. While it’s important the government does its due diligence and makes sure it’s open competition and there’s adherence to standards, if you add all that together and the net result is it takes you three years to buy something instead of 9 to 12 months, you’ve put yourself far behind the enemy. They’re using the latest technology and our government is not.”