Mobile World Congress was an exciting time for Symantec this year, with so much constructive engagement taking place with many of you from the analyst community, particularly around the key areas of Mobile Device Management (MDM), Mobile Application Management (MAM), Mobile Security and Enterprise File Synchronization and Sharing (EFSS).
From my conversations with you, what really seemed to catch your attention were the advances we’ve been making in mobile as a whole. The overall integration between MDM and MAM – and broader solutions that enhance our mobile offerings – many of you agreed were taking things in a new direction.
Most of you seemed more than familiar with Norton Zone already, but it might be worth a quick recap here. Norton Zone is our secure sync and file technology – a personal cloud service that lets users safely share files from your computer, smartphone and tablet. Many of our customers tell us that they have been struggling with technologies where end users are employing solutions that just do not have the level of security that is needed. And I know, from my discussions with many of you at MWC, this is an issue that looms large in the analysts’ world as well.
MWC was a great occasion to air such concerns and I know you are very positive about a patented Symantec technology we have released called Multi-Blind Key Encryption. This, as many of you will be aware, allows the encryption keys to be held by the customer. While the data they have may be stored in our data centre, the customer has the actual keys to that data in their possession. That means, regardless of whoever might come asking Symantec for access to that data, we simply cannot open up the data and make it available. The customer has true privacy control, whether that might be in the cloud or on premise. Work is now underway to integrate all of this into Symantec’s own apps center technology – so more on that in a later blog!
It’s really against this backdrop that, while Symantec may not be traditionally perceived as a mobile vendor, there was a growing consensus amongst you all at MWC that we are in a very powerful and unique position to protect all of the data and information that mobile devices are now generating. In fact, the messages I was getting at MWC from the influencer community were very much about how Symantec can turn this into a winning advantage. Because, with the MDM market continuing to commoditize and consolidate with takeovers (e.g., Good Technology acquiring BoxTone), and more vendors recognizing its value and influence, there is still a great deal of confusion out there.
Who do you go to? Who has the right credentials and focus? These were certainly themes that came up time and again with analysts at MWC. So it was gratifying to be told on a number of occasions that you see this as a great opportunity for Symantec to help to drive coherence in that market. After all, it is now shifting to where our strengths are. We know that productivity is going to be a leading concern with mobile customers, however, one analyst with whom I spoke at MWC was of the opinion that Symantec’s DNA in security will prove to be a real differentiator as security and privacy issues come more and more to the fore. It is indeed our intention to try to deliver to that level of expectation.
So what roles exactly do you, as analysts, see security playing in the future? From what you told me at MWC, many of you see mobility not as a technology problem, but more about assessing the business value, identifying risk impact and applying policies that protect data – hence the new emphasis now on ‘Enterprise Mobile Management’. And the feedback gleaned at MWC is that you see an opening here, too, for Symantec to be a key influencer. It has been part of our own thinking for some time now, which is why we’ve been pressing ahead with the Symantec Sealed Program, for instance, where we have more than 55 partners already signed up and other companies coming on board all the time. Collectively, our current partners have around 120-130 applications either already available in the iTunes and Google Play stores or going through the final testing and approvals process. It’s a big part to our mobile strategy, and underscores our determination and commitment to ensure that we continue to be a leading voice in this market. The Sealed Program is a key driver in delivering productivity to line of business leaders by giving users the apps they need in their specific roles.
We’re excited to work with all of you as we continue to make more investments and improvements to our mobile solutions.