Symantec Endpoint Protection 11.0 (MR 2)
I would like to take the opportunity to share the latest status of Symantec Endpoint Protection 11.0. In this update, I plan to review the latest maintenance release as well as the latest metrics we are seeing from Support. I will also give a sneak peak on what is coming next from the development team.
Maintenance Release 2 shipped to manufacturing in mid-April. MR2 includes severalfixes for customer deployment, significant improvements in SMB fit, as well as support for a few new releases from Microsoft (Windows Server 2008, Vista SP1.) This was a huge release by the team and it is making a big difference to our customers and partners. One example of the changes we made was around server memory requirements for Small Businesses. In the original 11.0 release, a customer needed 2gbs in order to run our management console. For most customers that dedicated a server to SEP, this was fine. For smaller customers that need to share the server space with other applications, it was a tight fit. With MR2, we have shrunk the memory requirements of our server to under 300mbs. This allows the management server to run on crowded servers.
On the support front, we have also made significant progress. We doubled our support staff in anticipation of the SEP 11.0 release. However, Support case volume has migrated to SEP 11.0 at a faster rate than any previous Symantec Enterprise AV product release. Historical guidance projected 50% of the AV case volume to migrate to SEP 11.0 within 6 months, in reality we reached 50% SEP 11.0 volume within 3 months. The adoption rate of the product was driven by our small business market, who were excited to adopt the new features into their environment. Many of the support calls resulted from the installation of our product without leveraging the migration and install information to prepare their environment for the demand of the new product as well as the large product footprint in our SMB non dedicated server environments. Because of all this, we have seen TSE talk times double as we walk customers through how we interact with their environment and the new interface and management features. The extra workload surpassed the additional workforce, resulting in reduced throughput and longer than anticipated wait times for our customers.
Based on the above, we added an additional 30 heads and also focused on other productivity improvements. The good news is that now our wait times are below 10 minutes with a goal of 5 minutes, our CSAT top box score is at 82% globally with a goal of 85%, all trends are moving in the right direction and with the release of MR2 we should continue to see positive advancements. The support teams have done a tremendous job in supporting our customers on SEP 11.0.
Even though MR2 has shipped, the development team is not done. We are already underway with MR3. MR3 is similar to MR2 in that it includes both customer fixes but also performance improvements. One area that the team is focused on improving in MR3 is the boot time performance impact of the client. Below is a table that shows current numbers. You will see that MR3 is performing nicely (much better than McAfee I might add.)
** The MR3 times are based on the latest development build. It is possible that they go up/down as we bring MR3 to market.
In closing, we have come a long way with the tuning the product to our customers desires since the initial release. We are excited to see customers and partners realize the value of combining the necessary ingredients of endpoint security into a single agent and a single console. If you have any feedback or questions, please let me know.