“Symantec is synonymous with security. Microsoft is synonymous with a lot of things, but security is not one of them,” Thompson said.
He said Symantec would put more money into marketing as well as into research in its bid to keep Microsoft from taking away its business.
Microsoft isn’t much of a threat to Symantec in the short term, but will be in the long term, said Christian Christiansen, program vice-president of security products and services at IDC in Framingham, Mass. Microsoft is already a major player in the anti-spam space.
In order to keep its position over Microsoft, Symantec needs to integrate its products more, which the company is already in the process of doing, he said.
Thompson admitted the company had failed its customers in supporting archiving products, blaming the difficulty in finding skilled support staff.
Symantec is a “victim of (its) own success,” he said. The firm was in the process of training more staff, he said.
There are two critical areas of focus – message management and compliance, Thompson said. When e-mail goes down, industry comes to a halt, he said. The company wants to be able to protect organizations from not only incoming, but outgoing communications, monitoring outbound instant messages to ensure they don’t contain any confidential information.
Symantec also made a number of announcements at the event, including its new IT Compliance solution, the Symantec Data Center Foundation, Storage Foundation 5.0 and Veritas Server Foundation.
Data Center Foundation is designed to be a software platform companies can use to standardize heterogeneous applications, databases, servers and storage platforms on. Storage Foundation is for storage management and virtualization.
As for Symantec, though there was very little positive feedback when it first announced its merger with storage firm Veritas, in 12 to 18 months it will put the company in a better position, IDC’s Christiansen said.