Thompson Touts 'Hamlet' Compliance Project, Ambitious New Product Road Map

In a conference call with Wall Street analysts, Thompson said the Hamlet product will integrate antivirus and firewall offerings with end point compliance technologies from the Sygate acquisition last August and behavior blocking technologies from the WholeSecurity acquisition last September. He said Hamlet will be delivered toward the end of the fiscal year, which closes on March 31, 2007.

Thompson said that over time Symantec intends to integrate policy compliance with all of its security and availability products.

"Managing the compliance process for internal policies and external regulations is rapidly emerging as the key business driver for infrastructure software deployment," Thompson said. "In this area of IT compliance we intend to integrate our agent based ESM (Enterprise Security Manager) product with our agentless Bindview product."

Symantec also intends in the current fiscal year to "unify policy management across email and instant messaging and eventually extend it to archiving," said Thompson. "This will allow for richer data analysis within our customers messaging systems for compliance, legal discovery and business management purposes."

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Thompson also reiterated one of Symantec's biggest bets to move its new consumer security service offering, code named Genesis, into beta in the summer. That product is slated to go up against a competing Microsoft offering.

Thompson would not talk about Genesis pricing, but he reiterated the company's plans to deliver the offering this fiscal year. Currently, he said, Symantec intends to ship Genesis in the fourth quarter, he said, but that could be impacted by the planned new releases of Symantec Norton Antivirus and Norton Internet Security in the August-September period. "The [Genesis] team is going through the evaluation," said Thompson. "We will have the beta in the marketplace in late summer. We'll take the feedback from that and make a determination as to when we we shall release the product."

Thompson said Genesis is one of a number of efforts Symantec is working on to provide more products aimed at increasing consumer confidence around e-commerce. "For fiscal 2007, we intend to leverage our more than 50 million active customers to sell them an expanding group of products," he said.

At the same time Symantec is planning a bevy of new products, it is also ramping up its own services effort. Thompson said Symantec is adding to its services portfolio moving beyond implementation and installation engagements to IT risk management and risk mitigation strategies. "We have broadened our services to expand the entire customer buying cycle," he said. "In addition to implementation and installation services, our engagements now cover advisory services, design/solution services and services to build and manage IT environments. We expect to continue to build out this important part of our team and our solution offerings as we move forward."

When asked if he was confident on the company's ability to meet its ambitious product road map, Thompson laughed, noting that the company outlined its plans before 3,500 customers at its Vision conference this week. "While there is a certain level of science associated with software there is a certain part of art as well," he said. "I have to believe the team is committed to deliver on those dates and our track record is pretty dog-gone good. Yes, occasionally we slip but that is the exception not the rule."