Veritas: Finding Truth In The Symantec Split

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TechWeekEurope gets clued up in the first UK interview with info management firm Veritas as a separate entity

“It’s very exciting to feel this startup culture,” Matt Ellard, Veritas’ senior vice president for EMEA told TechWeekEurope. “Everyone is really buzzing again.”

Despite Veritas being a household name in the information management space, having been around since 1983, the company is now set to go solo once more this year as it splits off from parent cybersecurity firm Symantec after a decade.

“Veritas spins out as $2.7 billion company, addressing what we think to be a total adjustable market with our current portfolio now of about $18 billion, so there’s a lot of headroom for us to expand and grow, especially with an adjacent market opportunity of about $6 billion. I think we’ll have a nice enough market to go and run out as Veritas,” said Ellard.

Hasn’t converged

veritas“It’s not a change in strategy, but it’s the only way think we could execute our information management strategy and security strategy is to have two separate companies, as the market just hasn’t converged as we thought it would.”

TechWeekEurope asked Ellard whether the split was a by-product of Veritas losing money.

“I wouldn’t say losing money, we weren’t as productive as we could have been. We weren’t executing as well as we could have been,” he replied.

Indeed, Veritas under Symantec’s banner has seen success of late. Despite Symantec missing revenue targets in the firm’s last quarterly financial results, Veritas was “experiencing accelerating growth, driven by double-digit revenue growth for both our NetBackup appliances and NetBackup software,” according to CEO Michael Brown.

But Ellard explained how it was hard to cover the market and set up a go to market model with a team of employees covering marketing, channel, sales, branding, advertising for both cybersecurity and information management.

“There was nothing with impact, all the messaging was diluted,” said Ellard.

He told TechWeekEurope that it was also down to portfolio tradeoffs, and that now, with a dedicated info management team, it’s information management which can really be focused on.

“To stress, there’s no change in strategy”

Veritas sells products that help customers with managing the growth and explosion of data management costs with structured and unstructured data and data governance.

Dealing with almost 86 percent of the world biggest firms, Veritas has got a good base to start on. “We really feel like a $2.7 billion startup,” said Ellard, who claimed the firm’s mission is to really help customers get to the value of their data.

“What we’ve seen more and more is that information growing, but a lot of it is irrelevant data, so how to you get to that valuable data? Not all data is equal. Take something like e-hoarding. That’s people bringing in their own personal files. Suddenly that’s an enterprise problem. People are storing and backing up data that is not relevant.

“Our view is how are you controlling your unstructured data? It’s, risky, and you can delete most of it. We help them chose which data they can delete. We want to give our customers credible insight into what is their valuable information, and how do they govern and protect it.

“They also need to have that critical data highly available wherever and whenever they want it. That’s where our products such as InfoScale comes in, making sure that’s always available and up and running. You’ll see move into a lot more cloud-based products that will give customers real-time insight into their data. That’s where we sit now.”

Cloud updates

Veritas is set to roll out new updates this week, including a revamped portfolio that Veritas’ EMEA strategist Ian Wood said will focus on playing into hybrid cloud.

“We’ve been in this space for a long time. What we’ve learned now, and what we think is unique to us and important for the market is the fact we are platform independent. We believe that the new world, our advice is focus on the information not the infrastructure.

“Customers’ first instinct is to purchase to infrastructure. Take a step back, have a look at the information you have, and understand that info to make more informed decisions and that will help you in the long run.”

Veritas is also working on its ‘cloud connectors’, with new updates to its portfolio set increase interoperability with services that vendors such as AWS, Cloudian, and Hitachi provide. “We’re Launching to support customers and partners using hybrid cloud,” said Wood.

The whole truth

Veritas, if you didn’t know, is the Roman goddess of truth. TechWeekEurope asked Ellard and Wood about why the company is named so, and if the message of truth is still at the company.

“Culturally, there’s a huge integrity in the culture of Veritas. Since the spin off it has re-established itself quickly. It feels like Veritas again now, which is interesting for us to witness. The truth part? It’s all about getting insight into information, and getting into the heart of it and getting the value from it. Integrity underpins Veritas.”

And we will soon find out if this rings true with its customers. Veritas is set to go operationally separate in October of this year, with legal separation coming in January 2016. This week will likely see the portfolio updates rolled out which could whet the appetite of its existing customer base and even pick up some new ones.

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