IT managers at Veritas' annual users conference complained the storage software company has done little to improve its licensing models, which they view as confusing and difficult to track. And many expressed concerns that those licenses could become even more difficult to manage with the buyout of Veritas by Symantec.
"The biggest problem we're running into right now is license reconciliation and tracking and renewal, and whose got them and where are they," a storage administrator from Banknorth Group. told Veritas CEO Gary Bloom. His comments came during during a question-and-answer session following Bloom's keynote address yesterday at Veritas Vision.
Douglas Britz, a storage administrator for farm equipment manufacturer Deere & Co., agreed, saying Veritas needs to do more to improve its tracking of software licenses, which his company is often forced to recheck after Veritas sends its bills. Britz is in charge of managing Veritas' NetBackup software for Deere.
Britz and others also expressed concern that service would suffer after the Symantec buyout -- mostly because of a perceived reputation for poor service at Symantec.
"I've had 10 different sales account representatives already," Britz said. "It's a constant headache for us."
During his keynote, Bloom acknowledged that his company has issues with its tracking of software licenses but said a team has been established to address any problems. "It's hard to articulate exact changes on the road map here," he said. "This is not an effort that's going to stop by any means ... after the merger."
Britz also lamented the number of mergers between storage companies and compared them to Taco Bell, where so many companies have merged under one brand that product differentiation and competition have suffered, he said.
"I'm just hoping Veritas keeps a lot of what they already have, especially in support," said Todd Warfield, a systems administrator at Liberty Mutual Insurance in Boston.
During his speech, Bloom tried to reassure users that service would not change after the merger is completed at the end of June. "You're still going to call the same number, and probably for 99 percent of the people in this room, you're still going to be talking to the same sales people you always talked to," he said.