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Symantec struggling to help Veritas customers

Symantec has been struggling to support some of the customers it acquired through its Veritas acquisition in 2004, its CEO John Thompson said last week.

Symantec has been struggling to support some of the customers it acquired through its Veritas acquisition in 2004, its CEO John Thompson said last week.

Thompson was speaking at the company’s annual Vision customer conference last week in San Francisco, US.

In response to criticism from delegates that the security giant was not doing enough to support some of the products it had acquired from Veritas, Thompson accepted that there had been problems with customer support for its e-mail archiving product Enterprise Vault.

However, he said it was because of a skills shortage and not a lack of funds. “We have struggled to ramp resources in support of the enterprise archiving product,” Thompson admitted.

“It’s not anything to do with funding issues, but finding the necessary skills in our support centres,” he added.

Symantec paid US$13.5billion for Veritas Software in December 2004, three months after Veritas bought KVault Software. The Enterprise Vault technology was developed by KVault to automatically archive e-mails from applications such as Lotus Domino and Microsoft Exchange.

“In a way, we were the victims of our own success — our product has taken off faster than we can train enough support operatives. This is being addressed through more training,” Thompson went on to say.

The CEO promised Symantec would sort out the problems, but said: “We’re a long way from addressing these [Veritas product issues], to the extent that customers are going to be totally satisfied.”

According to reports, one of the issues with Enterprise Vault centred around a problem archiving from the journal mailbox that seemed to cause a temporary breakdown in archiving.

Symantec Europe, Middle East and North Africa (MENA) regional director Kevin Isaac claimed there were no custom- er support issues around Veritas in this region.

“We haven’t had any real support issues in this part of the world. So I would think that his comments would be specific to some other region,” Isaac said.

At last week’s conference Thompson also announced Sy- mantec would fight off Microsoft’s security software challenge with new inovative ideas.

He vowed to put more resources into research and development over the next year.

The software giant is currently working on Windows Live OneCare, a consumer security service that combines firewall, antivirus, and anti-spyware software as well as backup features.

The product is being developed for Microsoft’s upcoming Vista operating system.

“Our strategy is to out-innovate Microsoft. We know more about security than they ever will,” Thompson claimed.

“Competition with Microsoft is inevitable, given the way the tom-toms are beating at the moment,” he added.

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