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Symantec and Content Management

I just read and interview of John Thompson , CEO of Symantec and after a little research it strikes me how they have been steadily creeping into the content and storage management market. Naturally when I think of this company the first thing that comes to mind virus scanning software but three years ago the company merged with longtime backup and data center management player Veritas. This drove the comapny into some very different markets and in direct competition with EMC.

As I scan over the list of product announcements, acquisitions and commentary ever more overlap with the ITSM, storage and software components of EMC becomes apparent. There is a strong partnership with RSA but from a virtualization perspective they are much more aligned with Xen. Backup and recovery and data loss prevention are other areas where the two are face to face in the market.

Prior to the merger with Symantec, Veritas had acquired KVS. The KVS flagship then had been Enterprise Vault, a very well known email archive solution. While Enterprise Vault certainly drove a lot of storage sales for EMC, the product at its core is a content management solution. The business problems associated with email archiving (compliance, eDiscovery,etc) are clearly in EMC Documentum’s space.

The recent acquisition of Tower Software by HP takes them into the records content management. Symantec is clearly expanding the storage management component of there business and it seems that another natural extension would be to broaden their CM foot print like HP, at least in where archival content and RM is concerned.

Symantec’s ever expanding presence in the storage sector could naturally evolve to serve other content management needs just as it did for EMC. Is not likely that this would occur without acquisition. So who might they acquire? There is always Open Text but this may be too broad of a suite to take on given the challenges Symantec experienced integrating with Veritas.

Smaller players like Hyland would have more appeal but may not augment their offerings to the degree that another ECM player would. To compliment their recent SaaS backup offering, going after one of the SaaS CMS vendors (e.g. SpringCM) is always a possibility.

One last point. Thompsons’s dig at McAfee, referring to them as a “nice little company” is not the kind of remark a CEO makes without intentions. If Symantec does have designs on more of EMC’s content management territory, he might should avoid sniping at McAfee in the process. McAfee’s CEO knows a thing or two about content management and may just decide to beat him to it.

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