Symantec's CEO John Thompson has promised a new data backup and recovery product soon after the merger with Veritas is completed. Veritas had dropped its plans for such a product four years ago.
Thompson expects the $13.5 billion acquisition to close next month. "All in all, I'd say we're in terrific shape," he said. "We continue to want to see Day One happen sometime around the end of May. We're still engaged in the reduced cycle with the SEC. Hopefully, that gets resolved very shortly."
Thompson also laid out a vision of a resilient infrastructure architecture that includes security and backup applications under a single user interface.
As for the upcoming consumer backup product, Thompson said it was already in the works before the merger announcement. Aimed at taking on the Norton brand, it will include data protection, retrieval and archiving capabilities. Thompson said that he would like to more than triple Symantec's services revenue from what will be three percent when the two companies are officially joined to 10 percent.
"We have more work to do. The opportunity in consulting is three to five times that of the software business. In most businesses, firms are constrained by human capital, not opportunity," he said.
Thompson stressed that the combined Symantec and Veritas product line will have a common set of tools and languages, all residing on a single Symantec management interface. "But don't assume we're going to have some great architectural footprint that we're going to drop on everyone on day one," he said.
The company will begin by offering bundled products in the first six months and then move to integrate products over the next year. For example, Veritas' e-mail archival software and Symantec's anti-virus software could be tied together, or Symantec's DeepSite Threat Management System could be joined with Veritas' NetBackup data backup product.
Some Veritas customers expressed concern about the integration of the two companies' product lines and support operations. "Symantec is more of a consumer-oriented company versus Veritas being a very enterprise-direct customer model," said Joel White, lead IT architect at Veritas customer Allstate Insurance. "My top concern is the net spend for software and the value you get form that software."