Altiris outlines Symantec integration plans

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ManageFusion event offers update on rationalisation between two product lines

The key focus of this year's Altiris ManageFusion event in Malta was on integration progress between its own product line and new owner Symantec’s technology.

Greg Butterfield, Altiris business unit group president, said the rationalisation of product overlap between the two vendors’ portfolios had been the first priority since Symantec acquired the IT management software vendor in April.

The rationalisation of four different solutions as part of the integration work is evidence of a trend resulting from the increasing number of acquisitions occurring recently in the IT industry.

For reasons of market share and technology quality, Butterfield said that Symantec’s remote control solution, pcAnywhere, was chosen to become the company standard above Altiris’ Carbon Copy, for example. Altiris’ security and compliance products have also been moved over to the security and data management team inside Symantec, he added.

For imaging and deployment, Symantec will continue with both Altiris’ Deployment Solution and Symantec’s Ghost. “Ghost is synonymous with its meaning. When you say you’re going to image something, you’re going to ghost it,” Butterfield reasoned.

Two months ago, the enterprise management LiveState Delivery product was ended, which Symantec had acquired through its purchase of On Technology. Butterfield said after talking to customers, the Altiris Total Management Suite was considered a stronger product going forward. “Exciting things are happening from a product perspective, and this is being driven not just by technologists but from an understanding of customers needs,” he added.

Customers in some geographies that are migrating to the Altiris Total Management Suite are being assisted by channel partners, while consulting and professional services are also offered free of charge from Altiris, said Butterfield. There are currently around 200 Symantec customers in the process of migrating to the suite, Butterfield added.

Ed Reilly, Altiris business unit vice president of European sales, said that the firm is working with Symantec’s partners to train them on the Altiris product line. This is being done through “boot camps,” where sales teams are being trained alongside technical teams, he added.

Regarding integration between Altiris and Symantec’s different channel partnerships, the journey is just beginning, Reilly said. He explained that Altiris partners are just starting to take Symantec products so they can “sell to customers on a single quotation and single purchase order”. The use of combined partners has been particularly strong in markets where Altiris’ presence has traditionally been weak, such as in Dubai and Spain, Reilly added.

On the business front, Altiris still remains a separate unit. However, because customers want to deal with a single entity and not two vendors, over time it will make sense to integrate the two groups, Butterfield said.

Steve Morton, Altiris’ product management and strategy group vice president, said virtualisation is one area that could help break down the barriers between business units at Symantec.
itweek.co.uk @ 2010 Incisive Media
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