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Channelweb.com Security Editor Stefanie Hoffman sat down with Symantec CEO Enrique Salem during the company's Vision 2010 Conference in Las Vegas, to discuss the company's recent decision to hand over significant portions of its consulting business to its partners, as well as its integration strategy and the future of its cloud services. The following are edited excerpts.
Congratulations, you've been here a year. What would you say some of the highlights have been over the last 12 months?
First of all, I think we've made huge progress on the product side in integration and quality of products. And second, I'm really pleased with the improvements we've seen in what we call the net promoter scores. So very pleased with the enthusiasm of our partner community. So better product quality and better quality integration and partner reception. And next year's going to be even better.
I think that our portfolio has gotten to a point where people understand, instead of having lots of security products, Francis (DeSouza) laid out a strategy for four suites. Instead of having to worry about selling backup and archiving and having them be separate, it's now integrated. Deduplication is integrated. And so, I think it's easier for our customers and easier for our partners. Awesome.
As partners take over some of Symantec's consulting business, there will likely be structural shifts. Will these shifts result in layoffs in some of Symantec's consulting services divisions?
What I'm trying to do is get our partners more involved in everything we do. And I think we're succeeding. When you look at our business, you're always trying to allocate resources to what you want the business to look like. And so, and this is no new news, we're having more of our work being done by partners. We're having more of our work being done in geographies outside of the United States. And so every year, every quarter, there's always some amount of restructuring, but it is nothing that I would tell you is meaningful.
What do you consider meaningful?
If you think of a company of 17,500 people, 100 people changes, 200 people changes -- every change is important. But I would tell you, It's relatively small in the bigger scheme of Symantec. I don't think a quarter goes by, if you actually look at our restructuring charges, that we don't have some form of restructuring. When I moved we had multiple offices all over the United States. We're trying to drive to fewer offices. And some people decide, hey, I want to live in one location versus another. We try to get people to relocate, sometimes they decide they don't want to. If you look at our financials, you'll see that pretty much every quarter, we've had some form of restructuring.