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Symantec Vows to Become ‘New Force’ in Cybersecurity
The figure of Norton Fighter, a hero character symbolizing reliability of Symantec’s Norton Products, is displayed at Makuhari Messe in 2008 in Chiba, Japan. (Photo by Koichi Kamoshida/Getty Images)

Symantec Vows to Become ‘New Force’ in Cybersecurity

Less than three months after its major acquisition of Blue Coat, the software vendor also reiterated its commitment to the channel during Symantec Partner Engage 2016 in Los Angeles.

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Eleven weeks after acquiring web defense software maker Blue Coat Inc., Symantec’s still-integrating leadership laid out a vision for working closely with channel partners to dominate the cybersecurity market.

The merger that became official on Aug. 1, created a firm with more than 3,000 engineers, 385,000 worldwide customers, 175 million endpoints and $4.65 billion in annual revenue.

A company news release at the time described the new entity as “the industry’s largest pure play cybersecurity company.”

During an opening keynote at last week’s Symantec Partner Engage 2016 event in Los Angeles, CEO Greg Clark told principals from hundreds of channel firms that the new Symantec has the financial and technological wherewithal to become a top player in the space.

“I can tell you…that we are going to emerge as a new force in cybersecurity,” he told the gathering.

Clark said that after removing Cisco Systems, Symantec’s remaining competitors combined are losing money.

“We have the healthiest balance sheet in cybersecurity," the CEO said.

Partners from both Blue Coat and Symantec learned they would continue to operate as separate partner programs through the end of Symantec’s fiscal year, on March 31, 2017.

After that, the groups will be brought together under a unified program that will attempt to leverage the best aspects of the previous, component programs.

Symantec intends to use its depth of engineering talent as a key differentiator, helping to produce and improve cybersecurity technologies that actually work well, Clark said.

He also reiterated the company’s commitment to open source development.

“Platforms matter,” Clark said. “Open platforms to integrate security technologies really matter.”

“We integrate with our competitors,” he went on. “We’re trying to solve problems for our customers.”

Symantec technologies are already in use by 80 percent of the Global 1000, and its solutions are white-labeled by corporate giants like AT&T. The new larger company expects continued success with large enterprise and government customers.

The software maker will soon release SEP 14, the successor to Symantec Endpoint Protection version 12; and a new Integrated Cyberdefense Platform, designed to seamlessly and cost effectively provide policy-based protection across web, email and network.

“Selling into the high end, we will mow down our competitors here,” Clark said. “We think we are the first truly integrated cybersecurity platform.”

But the company also aspires to dominate the midmarket cybersecurity space, and ensuring profitable opportunities for partners is key to that strategy. Symantec officials promised robust partner training and ubiquitious product awareness campaigns.

“We have a really substantial marketing spend; the biggest in the industry,” Clark said. “Eighteen months from now…we’re going to be really hard to compete against.”

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