Symantec – How We Win at Securing Customers in a Virtual World
Symantec's Cutting Edge 2008 engineering conference had a remarkable symmetry on the second day. The first keynote was delivered by Enrique Salem, COO of Symantec, and the last one by Chris Hoff, Chief Architect of Unisys.
Remarkably, they spoke with almost color-coordinated phrases. Enrique said that the way Symantec was going to differentiate itself from competitors was to focus on virtualization, information risk management and SaaS (software as a service). Chris Hoff talked about the "virtualization of security" or as he said, the three most important trends in the industry at the moment: virtualization, security and management of risk, and lastly, "cloud computing"/SaaS. Chris described the four horsemen of the apocalypse (be afraid, be very afraid) in trying to focus attention on the challenges posed in the brave new world of network security in a virtualized world.
It brought to mind the biggest opportunity and the biggest challenge facing Symantec at the moment. How do we work better together - using our products and our teams to solve customer problems? Enrique called attention to the unique positioning of the Symantec product portfolio in responding to these challenges. He gave the example of the Symantec Open Collaborative Architecture (OCA) through which Symantec products can share data, workflow, and management capabilities to jointly address customer problems. What is different about the OCA from previous integration efforts? The answer is that it is based on a proven product set--the Altiris (now Symantec) management platform--and on industry web services standards. The Symantec OCA allows products to collaborate through the Symantec Workflow Engine, by exposing web services or by utilizing the Altiris platform and console.
Another takeaway from the conference was Joe Fitzgerald’s reference to the number of patents in the Symantec patent portfolio. Fitzgerald, the VP of our legal department, referred to the Wall Street Journal's Technology Index, in part based on the patent portfolio owned by technology companies, which is considered to be critical to success. (Remember, the conference is about "How We Win.") Symantec is 16th on the WSJ Technology Index. Overall, a very insightful day.