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Symantec split: $8 billion buyout to liberate Veritas

Symantec's pending $8 billion sale of Veritas to Carlyle Group-led investors marks the latest phase of the software company's separation strategy.

Today's news of Symantec's intended sale of Veritas to The Carlyle Group and additional co-investors for $8 billion is the next chapter in the pending Symantec split, plans for which surfaced last October. The twist for partners is to understand what the new leadership of a private company will have in store for the channel.

According to John Gannon, executive vice president and general manager of Veritas, private ownership of the information management business will give company executives unique advantages that will allow them to be more aggressive and more nimble, as the company pursues its business strategy.

"When we think about what we'll be able to offer our partners as we expand our core portfolio and start moving into some adjacencies that we started into already, we think that we can be an excellent partner to our partners," Gannon said.

Going forward, expect to see that partner ecosystem shrink. "We really want to narrow our focus on bigger and fewer bets in our partner ecosystem," said Brett Shirk, executive vice president of worldwide sales at Veritas.

From a go-to-market perspective, Shirk, who is also responsible for Veritas' channel, stated that the new company wants to transition the focus of its partner program to one that rewards partners based on the value they drive, rather than the volume.

Integrator focus

The new leadership is also making big investments in its global strategic integrators and will narrow its focus on partners that will make a key difference for the company.

"We're going to leverage those strategic integrators and alliances to drive the company's reach in the marketplace," he said. The company will focus on 10 strategic integrators.

We really want to narrow our focus on bigger and fewer bets in our partner ecosystem.
Brett Shirkexecutive VP, worldwide sales, Veritas

According to Shirk, the company's goal is to drive 85% of its revenue through the channel. In addition to strategic integrator partners, Veritas has 40 managed partners in the U.S. and hundreds of unmanaged partners that go through distribution.

Company executives expect the loyal base of Veritas partners to stick with the new company. Symantec partners who today carry both the security and information management products will operate with two different agreements going forward.

Partner program to survive Symantec split

The good news for partners moving forward under The Carlyle Group leadership is that the overhauled partner program that Symantec rolled out this past November, a month after it announced the company split, will be retained by the new owners.

On Oct. 3, Veritas will begin operating as a separate company, with the Carlyle sale closing date set for the end of the year. When the company separates operationally, its goal is to simplify the way it does business and implement a new enterprise resource planning system, according to Shirk.

"We're taking this opportunity to simplify the way we do business with our partners and customers -- simpler licensing, fewer SKUs to transact business [and] we're simplifying our pricing," he said. "But, there will be a transition to making that happen. In the long term, it will be a much better solution for our customers and partners to do business together," he added.

London-based Mark Nutt will serve as the new global channel chief for Veritas.

Next Steps

Read additional background on the Symantec split

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