CUPERTINO, Calif. - February 16, 1999 - Symantec Corporation (Nasdaq: SYMC) announced today that more than 90 percent of IBM's U.S. anti-virus corporate customer base, representing over 4,000 new corporate customers totaling approximately 2,000,000 seats, has committed to transition to Norton AntiVirus.
As a result of an alliance announced by the two companies last year, IBM assigned its anti-virus customer base to Symantec and now recommends and re-markets the Norton AntiVirus family of products to its customers through their Passport Advantage program.
In addition, the two companies are jointly developing IBM's Digital Immune System technology into Norton AntiVirus products. The technology can detect and automatically repair previously unknown viruses within minutes and distribute the repair to the rest of the network and to other users of the digital immune technology around the world.
"Not only have we gained commitments from such a high proportion of IBM's U.S. corporate customer base to migrate to Norton AntiVirus, we have done so ahead of schedule which is very pleasing," says Dana Siebert, Symantec's executive vice president of worldwide sales, marketing and services. "Despite the best efforts of our competitors, we have commitment from over 90 percent of U.S. IBM anti-virus customers to install Norton AntiVirus."
Similar transition programs in Europe and the rest of the world, which started later than in the U.S., are also progressing ahead of plan with more than 50 percent of European IBM corporate anti-virus customers committed to migrating to Norton AntiVirus so far. In Asia Pacific and Canada, the commitment rates are respectively 75 per cent and 74 per cent.
"The indications are that we will be very close to reaching our goal of turning virtually every IBM anti-virus customer in the world into a Norton AntiVirus customer," says Siebert. "This equates to 6,000 new corporate customers and 4,000 new consumer customers."
With the commitment phase of the IBM customer migration program drawing to a close, Symantec is turning its attention to helping its new customers replace the IBM anti-virus software with the Symantec programs. For some customers the process has already begun with the assistance of technical and consulting teams from Symantec and IBM.
"This is probably the biggest single customer migration the anti-virus industry has ever seen," says Siebert. "By working with IBM customers we have developed a unique core competency in transitioning corporations smoothly and efficiently to new anti-virus software standards. We are also offering our transition consultancy services to Network Associates and former Dr. Solomon's customers with success."
Commenting on Symantec's progress, Jack Gold, senior program director at META Group, said: "Symantec is one of the key players in the changing anti-virus market landscape. Indeed, due to continued rapid market consolidation, organizations are being forced to pursue anti-virus upgrade programs. In addition to expecting a high degree of protection from anti-virus applications, companies will select vendors that provide easy upgrade paths, excellent deinstall/reinstall utilities, and integrated IT administrative functions for end user and server deployment and upgrade."
Steve Frankel, a financial analyst with the investment banking firm of Adams, Harkness & Hill said: "It is Symantec's resurgence in the corporate space that is driving growth. Corporate sales accounted for almost 40 percent of the December quarter's top line as the company continues to capitalize on corporate antivirus business through its alliance with IBM."
About Norton AntiVirus
The Norton AntiVirus product line includes a multi-tier strategy that integrates a powerful anti-virus solution at desktops, servers, groupware servers, Internet e-mail gateways and firewalls to provide users with the most comprehensive virus detection and repair. The products provide users the security of knowing they have the most complete protection available, whether downloading files from the Internet, opening e-mail attachments or accessing floppy disks.
Symantec is the world leader in utility software for business and personal computing. Symantec products and solutions help make users productive and keep their computers safe and reliable anywhere and anytime. Symantec offers a broad range of solutions and is acclaimed as a leader in both customer satisfaction and product brand recognition. Symantec is traded on Nasdaq under the symbol SYMC. More information on the company and its products can be obtained at www.symantec.com.
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