Symantec 3.0 Starts Today…
While everyone keeps hyping Web 2.0 technologies, The VAR Guy thinks Symantec 3.0 will debut today at a partner conference in San Diego. But don’t go looking for an official “3.0” announcement from the storage and security company. The VAR Guy — rather than Symantec itself — is using the 3.0 moniker to describe the current state of Symantec. Here’s why.
Symantec is rallying its VARs this week at a major annual conference in San Diego. During the event, The VAR Guy suspects, Symantec will officially unveil the Symantec Protection Network, a managed services platform for VARs supporting small businesses. SPN will initially support managed storage, with security capabilities to arrive at a later date.
(Update on 9/11 at 2:18 Eastern: A point of clarification… Symantec PR today reminded The VAR Guy that Symantec Protection Network was announced in April. But that was a beta announcement. The VAR Guy and Symantec partners are still waiting for general availability. Estimated launch: Fall 2007, so this week’s conference is the perfect stage for an update on the network.)
The VAR Guy believes SPN is a defining moment for Symantec — a sort of “3.0” milestone for a company that thrived in the age of PC utilities (which The VAR Guy considers Symantec 1.0) and then pushed into storage (dubbed Symantec 2.0 by our resident blogger). This week’s partner conference and the launch of SPN (whether now or within the next few weeks) potentially solidifies the close relationship between storage and security — two former islands that came together when Symantec purchased Veritas in July 2005.
Arriving at Symantec 3.0 hasn’t been an easy journey for the company or its partners. Let’s retrace some of the steps so far. Simply put, Symantec 1.0 was everything you knew about Symantec prior to John Thompson’s arrival in April 1999. Under previous CEO Gordon Eubanks, Symantec emerged as a leader in software utilities. But the company lacked a single core mission. Thompson quickly positioned Symantec as a security leader, and by mid-2005 Symantec acquired Veritas to push into storage. This, in The VAR Guy’s mind, was the start of Symantec 2.0 … a time when the company evolved into an information protection specialist.
But the Symantec 2.0 years were filled with challenges. Some Wall Street pundits doubted the Symantec-Veritas combo would live up to its promise. Take a look at this stock chart — tracing Symantec shares from the July 1, 2005 merger with Veritas through Sept. 12, 2007 — and you’ll see multiple setbacks for short-term investors. In addition to challenges on Wall Street, Symantec experienced problems in its own back office. Indeed, Symantec efforts to revamp its partner programs and ERP systems after the Veritas acquisition hit a few bumps.
Fast forward to this week, and we might finally be ready for Symantec 3.0, a time when the company is finally ready to fire on all cylinders. Or, at the very least, rally partners to the managed services cause.