Expect 2014 To Be Another Transition Year For Symantec, Says CEO


Symantec CEO Steve Bennett told financial analysts to expect another year of transition at the security vendor, following the 5 percent fall in its quarterly revenue reported on Wednesday.

Bennett said the fall in revenue was due to changes to the company's sales strategy and its new unified product reorganization. Symantec's revenue fell to $1.71 billion in the third quarter from $1.79 billion a year earlier. The company has maintained that 2014 would be a transition year, Bennett said.

"As I look back over the past 12 months, we are exactly where I expected to be at this stage of our three- to five-year transformation," Bennet said. "We are executing against our long-term vision and making short-term progress as expected."

[Related: Symantec Partially Withdraws From Managed Services Business
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He told investors that a more comprehensive product strategy will be shared with customers and partners at the company's Vision user conference to be held in Las Vegas in early May. The goal is to combine its point products in cloud security, mobile and data loss prevention into better integrated offerings and partnerships with networking security vendors, Bennett said.

Symantec is reinventing itself at a time when the market focus is shifting away from endpoint security software vendors to network security platforms, security analysts tell CRN. Other competitors, mainly McAfee (now called Intel Security) have broader security portfolios with both endpoint and network security capabilities. Bennett said his firm is establishing partnerships with next-generation firewall makers to more tightly integrate the appliances with Symantec Endpoint Protection.

"This initiative is an industry first and will provide a new set of enhanced, advanced threat-detection capabilities that will enable our customers to automatically prioritize and provide comprehensive contextual intelligence for incidents based on a correlation between network-based advanced threat detection, endpoint security and Symantec’s Global Intelligence Network," Bennett said.

The company also is betting heavily on mobile security and privacy products. Bennett pointed to the recent launch of the latest version of Mobile App Center, formerly Nukona, for mobile device and mobile application management. The Symantec Sealed program, which is part of the release, gives participating iOS and Android app developers a way to wrap mobile apps with security policies supported by Symantec. Norton Zone also was released for consumers in a bid to better secure file sharing between home and work devices.

But in its third-quarter 2014 results, shared with investors on Wednesday, the company shows revenue continuing to decline year-over-year across the entire business. Symantec reported a 4 percent decline in revenue from its protection business, made up of its Norton antivirus, data loss prevention and other endpoint security products. It represents approximately 42 percent of total revenue. It posted a 6 percent fall in revenue from its information management unit, made up of its NetBackup and recovery products, which accounts for about 39 percent of overall revenue. License revenue declined 27 percent year-over-year, while content, maintenance and subscription revenue was flat, Symantec said.

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