Symantec President: We Aren't Done Making Acquisitions Yet


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Symantec has been on an acquisition tear, picking up two companies in the past month. But President and COO Michael Fey said the company isn't done yet.

"There will be other acquisitions, certainly," Fey said in an interview with CRN at Black Hat 2017 in Las Vegas this week. "We're not afraid to acquire because we've already shown we can be successful with the integrations and our customers are stronger today."

Symantec announced the planned acquisition of threat isolation startup Fireglass the first week of July. Just a week later, the company announced plans for a second acquisition of mobile security startup Skycure.

[Related: Q&A: Symantec President On Why He Isn't Worried About McAfee's Spinout From Intel]

Those two acquisitions come on the heels of two blockbuster acquistions Symantec made late last year, including the $4.65 billion acquisition of Blue Coat Systems (where Fey had been president and COO) and the $2.3 billion acquisition of LifeLock.

Fey said all four acquisitions added significantly to the Symantec security platform, both technically and financially. He said the acquisitions also round out Symantec's platform, allowing it to take a greater percentage of customer wallet share with a broader platform.

Fey said further acquisitions will focus on areas that "add value and metrics" to the Symantec portfolio, rather than a specific technology category. He said the company doesn't feel like it needs to own every security product category. He said Symantec will also consider partnerships to round out areas that it feels could add value to the portfolio.

Fey said Symantec is in a position to be one of the large security consolidators in the market, at a time when many industry analysts are predicting a wave of security startup consolidation. He said most other companies with the size to do multiple acquisitions don't have the balance sheets, cash, or are embroiled in internal challenges.

Partners said they would like to see Symantec continuing to be acquisitive and expanding its portfolio. Sarah Isaacs, managing partner at Conventus, a longtime Symantec channel partner, said in an email that customers consider how broad a company's security portfolio is when making buying decisions, as it can give them better buying power for their security needs.

"Our Symantec clients expect to leverage their buying power as well as increase their cyber resilience when considering additional vendor offerings," Isaacs said.

Isaacs said it is important, however, that Symantec also stay focused on successful integrations as it looks to acquire more companies.

"Helping customers understand integration timelines is critical as piecing point products together requires further spend to enable a solution capable of operational success," Isaacs said. 

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