Symantec CEO pinpoints new company direction

Symantec CEO pinpoints new company direction

What to expect from the 'new' Symantec

It has been almost two years since Mike Brown took the helm as global president and CEO at Symantec.

During this time, he has seen through the software vendor’s separation from Veritas and worked a new company strategy.

At his first visit to Sydney, he discussed the company’s new focus and transformation.

“There’s a lot that’s changing at Symantec. We’ve recently refocused the entire company on security,” he said. “We decided in order to do that then we’ll separate from Veritas we bought more than a decade ago. We’re now completely focused on cyber security.”

Brown said the Veritas sale to private equity firm, the Carlyle Group for US$8 billion, brought upon a lot of financial flexibility in returning capital to shareholders and further merger and acquisition opportunities.

“While we’re excited about our comprehensive set of products and technologies, we think there’s opportunities to complement what we’re doing organically,” he said.

In the next 18 months, Brown indicated it will be investing in security analytics platform that it calls the ‘unified security strategy’; delivering 12 new products to support its enterprise security business; improve its cost structure and deploy capital to maximise its shareholder value. A tool specifically aimed at CIOs and CSOs called Risk Insight, will also be launched in the next six months.

“One of the key differentiators from our competitors is that we believe we operate the largest civilian intelligence network and we’ve invested to understand more about the threat landscape than anyone else,” he said.

“Enterprise security is the key engine of growth for Symantec and we feel like we’re pretty focused even if it is a broad area.”

He also revealed new opportunities in areas such as advanced threat protection, Cloud and security-as-a-service.

Channel partners currently account for about 80 per cent of Symantec’s revenue, and Australia and Japan make up the two largest markets for the vendor in the Asia Pacific region.

“We’ve always been a channel-based company and there’s a lot in there for partners in terms of the money they can make with us, our combination of training for them, deal registration, incentives and the product roadmap,” he said. “This is also the first time we’ve been able to focus on security focused partners, so that’s a big opportunity.”

Symantec recently consolidated its partner incentive programs into a single platform called SecureOne, created for resellers, solution providers, and distribution partners.

It moved from 11 competencies to just four in areas such as end-point protection and mobility; information protection; cybersecurity services; and threat protection. It also streamlined competency requirements, reducing training hours by 56 per cent.

In addition to streamlining competencies and training, the program also increases accelerators and payments for new businesses opportunities, as well as aligns to the company’s sales force and end-user accounts.

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