Symantec Post-Bennett: VARs Concerned About The Storage Business


As Symantec searches for a new CEO, some channel partners are hoping the vendor will be focusing more on the storage side of its business.

Symantec last week fired CEO Steve Bennett, who was in the midst of overhauling the company's product and go-to-market approach as part of a strategy called Symantec 4.0.

Symantec appointed Michael Brown, a former Veritas executive and a current member of the company's board of directors, as interim president and CEO, a move that caught some solution providers by surprise. Brown joined Symantec's board of directors after Symantec's 2005 acquisition of Veritas, where he was a member of that company's board.

[Related: HDS Signs Reseller Deal With Symantec, But Looks Inside For Long-Term Software Strategy]

Solution providers working with Symantec's storage technology expressed concern that the vendor has not been investing enough in that part of the business.

Symantec has three primary businesses, including user productivity and protection for consumers and home workers, information security for businesses, and information management, which includes backup and recovery, archiving and e-discovery.

In the fourth quarter of 2013, Symantec's information management revenue accounted for 39 percent of the company's entire revenue, or about $660 million, which was down 6 percent from the previous year.

The bright spot in Symantec's storage business comes from sales of its purpose-built backup appliances, which are hardware appliances optimized to run Symantec's data protection software.

Drew Meyer, director of product marketing for Symantec's NetBackup software and appliance, said that while he cannot comment on Symantec's overall storage revenue, the company's appliance business is doing very well.
 
"Customers, and therefore partners, are voting with their wallets on our appliances, and our NetBackup appliance growth is testimony to the success of the line, Meyer said.

One Symantec partner, who is still making a lot of money selling Symantec's NetBackup and Backup Exec data protection applications, told CRN the vendor needs to work on its channel program.

"Symantec has done a lot of acquisitions, and gone through a lot of integration of those acquisitions, but never made the needed changes for the channel," the solution provider said.

One of the barriers to selling more of Symantec's flagship NetBackup application is the fact that Symantec does not have a good alliance with a hardware vendor for the application, like CommVault does with Dell, the solution provider said.

NEXT: Discussions About Symantec's Storage Technology