Symantec CEO: Altiris Is Not for Sale

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Symantec's CEO has written to top partners and customers to reassure them that the company remains committed to its solutions across endpoint encryption, endpoint protection, enterprise mobility and endpoint management

Editor’s note:  As part of our special editorial partnership, Channelnomics is publishing this recent article from CRN in the UK.

Symantec Corp.'s chief executive has written to top partners and customers to reassure them that its Altiris IT management business is not for sale, CRN has learned.

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Reports surfaced in January that the vendor had put Altiris up for sale as part of a wide-ranging reorganization at the security and back-up software giant.

It bought Altiris for $830 million back in 2007.

But it appears that any intentions Symantec had of offloading the unit have been shelved after chief executive Steve Bennett indicated to partners that it is committed to its solutions across endpoint encryption, endpoint protection, enterprise mobility and - critically - endpoint management (which equates to Altiris).

"Despite any rumors to the contrary, all of these technologies remain a critical part of our product development and overall portfolio," Bennett wrote in an email to customers and partners.

Symantec partners we spoke to praised the vendor's decision to hang on to what they see as a strategically important product.

One source, who wished to remain anonymous, said: "Altiris is a solid, very technical business which is well liked in the channel. We would have been gutted if they had sold it."

Lance Williams, Symantec business manager at Softcat, said he thought Symantec had paid heed to analyst predictions that those vendors which have an end-to-end ability to manage and secure devices - regardless of whether that be PCs, tablets or smartphones - will win out.

"Endpoint management is one of those things where you can ask, ‘where does it fit into Symantec?’" said Williams.

"But if you look at the device proliferation that is happening across most organizations, if Symantec removed endpoint management from their portfolio, it would arguably leave a gaping hole.

"It would be silly to sacrifice server and client management capabilities for the sake of a deeper focus on something like mobile, when it's now all about the user."

Speculation that Altiris was for the chop first surfaced in January after Symantec announced it would be streamlining its product offering and trimming its 17,000-strong workforce.

According to the Wall Street Journal report, which cited sources close to the process, any sale would likely have fetched below what Symantec paid for the firm.

We were awaiting comment from Symantec as this story went to press.

For more UK channel coverage from CRN, visit www.channelweb.co.uk

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