Symantec and Broadcom: A Bullet Dodged?

I’ve been working on introducing an enterprise Secure Email Gateway at my workplace; we’re currently lacking in flexible spam prevention and would benefit a lot from the features most SEG’s provide, such as DLP, quarantine, encryption etc.

I’m going to write up a more detailed post about the selection process I went through with about 7 SEG vendors, but unfortunately our first choice Symantec seems to be in a bit of turmoil since the recent Broadcom acquisition of Symantec’s enterprise security business, at least in terms of new customers and sales.

With pricing agreed and a date set to begin a Proof Of Concept, Symantec started missing our scheduled conference calls. Then there was no reply to emails or phone calls. Then it was news our main contact in Symantec was being made redundant. The department was being moved to Prague. No guarantee on previous quotes. Word that internal migration of their accounting system had hit serious problems. No new orders being taken. No indication of time-frame for when things might settle down.

Needless to say, it was time to move on from the Symantec solution. Which was a pity, because it was my preferred solution from a technical point of view and fulfilled the majority of our business requirements, which I’ll detail in a future blog post. I’ve been assured that existing customers are experiencing no issues, as I was curious where we may have been if we had purchased the solution as intended a few months back. But I’d be very surprised if SMB customers haven’t been effected, or won’t be in the future, in terms of pricing, support and future product plans.

As somebody who has no real interest in the business world, it’s frustrating when it gets in the way of the technology, but it’s a bit of an eye-opener at the same time. I suppose ultimately it’s business that drives technology, and as sysadmins we need to keep one eye on the business and financial health of the vendors we invest a lot of time and money into.

Maybe we dodged a Broadcom shaped bullet…but I just want a new toy to play with!

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