Partners Cheer The Official Closing Date Of Symantec Split
More than a year after the decision to split was revealed, and after a delay and a price adjustment, Symantec has officially closed on its separation from storage company Veritas, headed into the weekend as a fully focused security company.
The sale of Veritas to private equity firm The Carlyle Group officially completed at Friday's stock market close, putting $5.3 billion in after-tax proceeds in the security company's pockets.
Partners cheered the news that the split process was officially behind Symantec. While the news wasn't a surprise, with the sale closing date known well in advance and the two divisions already operating independently, partners said the official closing means Symantec can now devote all of its attention to driving its strategic vision for security.
"Symantec has all these eyes on them for this huge split. … I think getting this done lets them go back to being strategic," said Steve Barone, CEO at CBI, a Ferndale, Mich.-based Symantec partner.
Wade Wyant, president and founder of Grand Rapids, Mich.-based ITS Partners, said he "couldn't be happier" with the company's decision to split and looks forward to Symantec executing on its security strategy now that the split is complete.
"This split has been awesome," Wyant said. "It's really allowed them to focus and we're happy about it."
The process of splitting Symantec in two began back in October 2014, when the Mountain View, Calif.-based company first revealed its intention to split from its storage business, Veritas. This past August, the company said, instead of simply splitting the company, it would be selling Veritas to The Carlyle Group for $8 billion. The two companies started operating independently in October 2015.
Since then, the company pushed back the expected close date of the acquisition from Jan. 1 to Jan. 29, and lowered its sale price from $8 billion to $7.4 billion.
John Thompson, Symantec global vice president of partner and channel sales, said the split finalization is a "big deal" for the vendor and clears a path for it to focus on its Unified Security strategy. He said Symantec employees did most of their celebrating of the operational split in October, but that "there is still singing and dancing in the hallways today."
"Today marks a new dawn for Symantec and its partners," Thompson said. "Symantec has completed the sale of Veritas and now we are solely focused on cybersecurity. I think that's going to be good for partners and good for Symantec."
Now that the split is complete, partners said, they want to see Symantec ramp up its technology investments. That is a push the vendor has already started, rolling out nearly a dozen new security products in recent months. ITS Partners’ Wyant said he would like to see Symantec investing in both R&D and acquisitions as it grows its technology portfolio.
"The channel is just waiting for even more great products," Wyant said. "Symantec has a great brand, they have a lot of great customers. … If they expand their product set and continue to innovate, then we can all be successful and the customer can get a lot of value."
That's exactly what partners can expect, Thompson said, with planned investments in technology, both organically and through acquisition. He said partners can also expect further investments in the channel, particularly around security-focused partners, the SecureOne partner program, Partner Engage events, training and enablement, and Partner Enablement Resource Kits. Having the split complete will accelerate the company's momentum in all of those areas, he said, as it is able to totally focus on its security investments.
"We're looking forward to growing even more with partners as we move forward," Thompson said. "We think today's announcement does mark a new dawn for us and a new dawn for partners."