Five Takeaways From Symantec CEO Enrique Salem

Speaking in a conference call with Wall Street analysts, Salem said that Symantec is starting to see a big payoff from its ability to sell a combined security-storage software portfolio. In fact, Salem said that 39 percent of enterprise deals above $1 million had both security and storage products as part of the deal.

Salem's comments came after Symantec reported earnings of $300 million or 37 cents per share for its third fiscal quarter ended January 1. That compares with a loss of $6.8 billion in the similar quarter one year ago. Sales for the quarter were $1.55 billion, up from $1.51 billion in the year ago quarter.

Here are five takeaways from Salem's review of Symantec's business during his conference call with Wall Street analysts.

1. SaaS And Cloud Solutions Are Taking Off

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Salem sees an increasing number of large enterprises moving to the cloud. In fact, Symantec saw record bookings for its hosted services business with multiple deals over $1 million.

Salem said that Symantec launched a SaaS business during the quarter that allows hospitals to store medical images. In the consumer business, Symantec now stores over 45 petabytes of data for 11 million customers. That hosted storage business is built on Symantec's own FileStore architecture for private and public clouds.

Salem said he sees more customers opting to build their public and private clouds with FileStore. Symantec is also offering Endpoint protection and Veritas Storage Foundation Basic on Amazon's EC2 cloud platform.

2. Expect A Big Bang Payback From Integrated Archiving And Deduplication In Backup Exec 2010 And NetBackup 7

Salem sees the integrated archiving and deduplication that Symantec has brought to partners and customers with Backup Exec 2010 and NetBackup 7 paying off big time.

That integrated archiving and deduplication capability is significantly reducing costs for customers, said Salem. Salem said he expects PureDisk deduplication technology to result in a rapid adoption and upgrades to Backup Exec 2010 and NetBackup. "PureDisk and (Backup) Exec 2010 should do well," he said.

Some channel partners likely held off selling the older products in favor of Backup Exec 2010 and NetBackup 7. "There is always a little bit of a slowdown or lag when there are new products," he said. Now that the new products are on the market expect the upgrade cycle to begin, he said.

3. China Cyberattacks Mean More Targeted Threats

Salem said that the highly-publicized, sophisticated cyberattacks launched earlier this month from China against 34 high tech companies including Google and Adobe is a sign of the times.

Salem said that the attacks reinforce Symantec's repeated warnings that cyberattacks are becoming more targeted. "The bad guys are getting much more effective going after individuals or businesses," said Salem. "Expect that to continue."

Salem said Symantec absolutely has the technology including reputation-based security technology and advanced heuristics to stop such attacks.

4. The Federal Government/Public Sector Business Is Benefitting From A Strong Focus On Cyberthreats

Salem said that the federal government business is benefitting from a stepped up focus on preventing cyberattacks. He said that President Barack Obama's focusing on protecting the country's critical infrastructure and against both insider or external threats bodes "very well" for Symantec's security business.

5. Oracle's Closing Of Its Acquisition Of Sun Could Provide Some Storage Sales Stabilization On Sun Hardware

Symantec's storage business could benefit now that Oracle has finalized its acquisition of Sun, said Salem. "I do think as we get clarity around Sun Solaris that (Oracle-Sun) combination should provide stabilization," he said.

Salem said he expects the Symantec-Sun relationship to continue under Oracle and he expects continued strong healthy maintenance revenue from the SPARC workstation platform installed base.