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Symantec Analyst Relations

Data Insight 4.0 - Shining a Light On Dark Data

Created: 02 Oct 2013
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The recent arrival of Symantec’s Data Insight 4.0 on the scene marks an important milestone for customers everywhere. Why? Because the new solution represents a major step forward in Symantec's on-going commitment to deliver solutions that are fully integrated, making it far easier for organizations to protect and manage their information.

Most importantly, through actionable intelligence into data ownership, usage and access, Data Insight will help customers improve governance for unstructured data – such as documents, presentations, spreadsheets and emails. Moreover, Symantec Data Insight 4.0 provides new discovery, analysis and remediation capabilities to help organizations further reduce costs and risk, achieve compliance and gain insights into their unstructured data.

What about that unified approach to data governance – how is that delivered? Data Insight 4.0 features integration with Symantec Enterprise Vault for file archiving and retention, as well as enhanced integration with Symantec Data Loss Prevention for confidential data protection for file shares and SharePoint, clearly underscoring Symantec’s resolve to deliver unified solutions. The new enhancements that help organizations unlock broad data governance value include advanced analytics, visualization, flexible query and flexible remediation capabilities. These capabilities shine a light on dark data to improve data governance and ensure that unstructured data is very much a business asset.

Not surprisingly, the launch of Data Insight 4.0 has unleashed a flood of interest from analysts, wanting to know exactly how the solution will deliver on these promises – all of which was the prompt for an APJ region webinar discussion to deal with their many questions.

Hosted by Sancharini Mazumdar, Symantec’s Industry Analyst Relations Manager for Asia Pacific and Japan, along with AR team colleagues Esther Kim and Kurt Mumma, the webinar provoked some lively debate. Delivering the insights – on Insight – were Ketan Shah (principal product manager for Symantec Data Insight) and Kerri Le (senior product marketing manager for Asia Pacific for Information Management Group).

(If you’d like to go directly to the webinar video recording or get additional information, you can scroll to the bottom of my blog for links to additional information.)

There were also a number of burning issues that the analysts raised at the webinar. Here are some of the key questions, along with the responses.

It seems, if the clients are using DLP and Enterprise Vault, then they can leverage the most benefits of DI. But how's the integration with other vendors' storage and data leakage solutions? Would that achieve the same benefits and cost saving?

Ketan Shah: “Data Insight provides multiplicative value. First of all customers that have Data Insight use its web-based console for reporting and analysis to help them make strategic planning or operational decisions. Now customers that also have Symantec Data Loss Prevention (DLP) and Symantec Enterprise Vault (EV) start to get exponential benefits, as they connect the insight into their existing DLP or EV workflows.”

“Further, in terms of flexibility, Data Insight, with this release, has a Query Language, an open interface that allows customers to mine out the data that they need. Many customers are looking at this to enable business process and workflow. And the ability to take actions such as archiving with Enterprise Vault is fully customizable, so they can create their own actions and integrate that with their own tools as well. So we are always mindful as well that we need to integrate with other products.”

For storage consolidation use case, an outcome would be to either archive or delete the information. However, lack of proper owners and often the fear of ‘deleting’ any information may derail ROI for these projects. I am interested in your perspective on this.

Ketan Shah: “Often, there is a reticence and nervousness around hitting the ‘delete’ button. You alluded to the answer in referring to a lack of ownership. Typically, IT is reticent, because this is somebody’s data and the data belongs to the business. And the business is the one that best understands the data. So, by creating this governance data structure, by helping customers and IT understand whose data it is, by giving them the map of data owners, and automation around that, IT now has a point person they can go to. They can go to the line of business, they can go to the stakeholders within the line of business who own the data and they can start having that dialogue.

“And that’s really a prerequisite. Once they have had that dialogue, the outcome is: ‘Yes, you can delete it’ or ‘No, this can be moved to cheaper cost storage’. And then, over time, they can create policies through that dialogue as well. There is a lot of focus around classification, but ownership is actually a critical piece that’s missing from that equation.”

“Finally, the ability to archive with retention policies further helps allay fears of ‘deleting’ any information.”

Who is the target customer – is it the current customer base, and then trying to up-sell and cross-sell?

Ketan Shah: “From a go-to-market strategy perspective, obviously this is a new emerging area. And the approach that made most sense for us, and for a lot of our customers, was, given the integration between Data Loss Prevention and Enterprise Vault, to tap into that – which is how we have taken this to market.

“The messaging is tightly integrated with the messaging for Data Loss Prevention, as well as Enterprise Vault. And so, yes, it is an up-sell opportunity for Data Insight, but there is also a broader strategic angle for Symantec around security and storage coming together, and we see that potential dynamic with Data Insight.

“So Data Insight is definitely a tool in the toolbox where sales and marketing teams can go in and where that message resonates across different parts of the organization.”

How is the product licensed?

Ketan Shah: “There are two meters and this is an option. One of the meters is per user and this is pretty much the number of employees, or number of objects in your directory. The other meter is per terabyte – the amount of data being monitored by Data Insight. Once again, this aligns to the buying centers; we find that the security buying center is more in tune with the ‘per user’ meter and the other centers with the ‘per terabyte’ meter.”

From an ROI perspective, what's a typical saving from storage/retention of data, so it can justify the investment in Data Insight?

Ketan Shah: “The ROI is multi-faceted. For example, we had an energy company in the US that actually bought Data Insight purely for accountability. They had this problem of file shares being created, then people would leave and so they needed to get accountability. However, when they started to play with Data Insight, within the first three months they were able to identify half a million .PST files. Their employed population was around 10,000, so they had a 50-1 creep off the .PST files, with a lot of them duplicated, but not used. And, when they reclaimed that, they were able to save up to 10%.

“So that’s a quick ROI example on the cost savings side. There are also the IT savings benefits; ongoing projects, such as migration, consolidation, restructuring, permissions clean-up, as well as automation to help document compliance. And last, but not least, there is the risk aspect around the security value.”

How do you see major trends such as Cloud impacting Symantec products?

Ketan Shah: “Let me cover this in context of our topic - unstructured data growth and governance problems. Cloud is a major trend that customers are aware of, and they are looking to adopt Cloud storage and Cloud-based file services. Somebody raised the point earlier about organizations often being afraid of deleting information. Absolutely true, but one of the things organizations are looking at is that maybe Cloud is a cheap dumping ground – it’s the last tier.

“So, the question they face is: ‘What data is the least valuable, irrelevant, and no longer needed?’. That’s an area where Data Insight can help them to identify data that is not being used, irrelevant, belongs to people who are no longer with the company – and therefore can be moved. It’s definitely an enabler and helps plan the migration.

“The other aspect is that, once data is in the Cloud and once customers start using Cloud services, like SharePoint Online or Box, or Symantec’s Norton Zone, they are concerned about the same visibility: ‘Who has access to my data?’, ‘Who touched my data?’. And, over time, as that data footprint will grow, the same problems that you see with collaboration environments and file shares on-premise will extend into the Cloud services.

“So, let’s say somebody sets up a team and they have data out there. When the owner [of that data] leaves, who really owns that data? What if there is a restructuring? So the same kinds of issues you see with files shares will extend to Cloud file services as well.”

You can watch the video here and to find out more about Symantec Data Insight, go to: http://go.symantec.com/datainsight.