Symantec recently surprised users and service providers alike by announcing an immediate end to all new licenses for the company’s popular Endpoint Protection Cloud (SEPC) and Endpoint Protection Small Business Edition 2013 (SEP SBE 2013) products. November 2, 2020, has been announced as the official end-of-life date.
Symantec’s urgency was backed up by alarming data: “We’ve seen an increase of more than 33% in mobile ransomware, more than a 600% increase in Internet-of-Things (IoT) attacks, and more than an 80% increase in iOS and Android vulnerabilities. With endpoint threats continually changing, it's important that you run the latest, most up-to-date cyber security solutions possible for all your endpoints.”
The retirement of SEP has been driven by solid reasons, but Symantec’s customers are understandably alarmed at the thought of losing support for their subscriptions. However, the company is committed to maintaining ongoing protection for its customers:
“All customers running Symantec Endpoint Protection Cloud [SEPC] or Symantec Endpoint Protection Small Business Edition [SEP SBE 2013] will receive a free upgrade to Symantec Endpoint Security (SES), the industry-leading endpoint protection platform, for the remainder of your existing subscription.”
So, what does that mean for your business? We’ve put together some frequently asked questions to help sort it out:
How do I know if my customers are eligible for the free upgrade?
Customers are eligible for the free upgrade if they hold a current valid subscription for Symantec Endpoint Protection Cloud (SEPC) or Symantec Endpoint Protection Small Business Edition (SEP SBE 2013). The two solutions have been called different names in the past, so below is a table of previous names of those same services.
When will the upgrade be available for SES?
Symantec is expected to launch upgrades to partners between April 27 – November 2, 2020.
My customers bought multi-year subscriptions upfront. Will the free upgrade continue through the same time frame?
Yes. If your customers bought an annual or multi-year subscription, they will receive a free upgrade that will expire at their current expiration date. However, to get the full benefits of the new Symantec Endpoint Security (SES), customers will need to transition to the new product before Nov. 2, 2020.
Will Symantec automatically migrate my customers’ data and configuration, or is there something that they have to do to transition to SES?
The customer will need to transition their endpoint security software themselves. Symantec will send them complete instructions on how to transition their solution. The new Symantec Endpoint Security comes with an intuitive user interface with hundreds of predefined policies to help make the transition easy to manage.
Can I keep selling SEP Cloud and SEP SBE? What if my customers want to buy new seats?
No. Symantec asks that you stop selling both SEP Cloud and SEP SBE effective immediately. That said, they will allow new sales until May 4, 2020, if you have a unique customer situation that warrants a short-term solution.
The Partner Management Console (PMC) is critical to my ability to deliver managed services to my customers. How do I manage services in the new Symantec Endpoint Security?
PMC does not support the new Symantec Endpoint Security (SES). However, SES does allow you to provision multiple customer tenants under a single account. You can log into each of the managed customer accounts easily, but there are no centralized alerts or reports. This may be an acceptable alternative solution for some MSPs.
Where do I go for more help?