Symantec split shouldn't deter customers, exec says
No operational change to be apparent until late next year, vendor claims
Customers should feel confident about dealing with Symanec's security and storage businesses, despite plans to split the two units next year, according to Darren Thomson, the company's EMEA vice president and head of marketing.
While the split is slated for completion by the end of 2015, Thomson asserted that Symantec will show no change on the front line from now until the end of the company's financial year in March 2015. However, he said that, behind the scenes, the company will be drawing up blueprints for how the two companies will go forward operationally.
"As we get into our new financial year, we'll start to separate the sales organisations, for example, into their ultimate models. Then we'll start thinking about shared services - marketing, HR, PR and all that good stuff - and that will gradually separate," he said.
"And when we get to the end of next year, hopefully it should just be a matter of flicking a switch."
Thomson said that the split had garnered a positive reaction from Symantec customers, despite the fact that there will eventually be two different points of contact for the two business units.
"Ultimately, there may be two contracts and two points of contact, but that's the case anyway - there are two buying centres," he said.
"I have CIO and CTO conversations every week, and when that meeting has gone well, the best case scenario is I'm then told to go to two places to continue a security conversation over here, and a storage conversation over there."
He added that, as a result of the focus that the split would allow the two businesses to pursue, customers should enjoy greater levels of service from Symantec, be it on the storage or security side.
Indeed, Thomson cited product focus as the main motivation behind the split. He said that, as one entity, Symantec has struggled to push research and development in the right direction on either side, because the company is too worried about integration points. When Symantec splits, he said, this should change.
"I'm really excited about what that focus is going to bring. It's alleviating the pressure of that shared resourcing model, always thinking about how we're integrating the two," he said.
"I think it's going to leave the two to really get on with what they're best at."