Symantec CEO Salem: Creating a Top Data Management Player

During Enrique Salem's tenure as CEO, Symantec, a global leader in security software, has become one of the world's foremost developers of data management software.

In April 2009, on his fourth full day as the freshly minted chief executive officer of data storage and IT security protection software provider Symantec, Enrique Salem made a memorable entrance at Storage Networking World in Orlando, Fla. He stepped up to the podium and declared: "I want you to stop buying storage. Now!

"You heard me right: Stop buying storage," Salem said. "How? Reduce the amount of information that you store in the first place, and make the storage you do have more flexible and efficient."

At first glance, it seemed as if a storage and security guy was ordering a few thousand IT managers, partner companies and software developers to not buy something his company sells. Of course, Symantec is a software company that doesn't sell storage arrays, controllers or much hardware at all (although there are options to buy appliances with certain software packages).
So, in terms of literally not buying physical storage, Salem could get away with the apparent meaning of that statement and still retain credibility with the company's customers and shareholders.

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If you really want to stop buying storage, Salem (left) said, there are four key opportunities at which everyone should be looking: storage resource management, thin provisioning, data deduplication and intelligent archiving. "If you're like most companies," he said, "you have a lot of -orphan storage.' It's time to give your orphan storage a loving family. You often have more room to grow than you realize."

Two-and-a-half years later, Salem's message on that score hasn't changed-but Symantec has. During his relatively brief tenure as successor to longtime incumbent John Thompson, Symantec (an independent software company with numerous partners) has fortified its position in the shark tank with competitors such as EMC, IBM, Oracle and Hewlett-Packard. It has competed well as one of the world's leading independent developers of data management software.

Leading in Security Software

Symantec is the global leader in the security software market with about 45 percent share, and it owns about 60 percent of the installed storage backup market with Backup Exec, according to market researchers Gartner and IDC. The company's security products include the well-known Norton line of antivirus software for consumers, as well as data-loss prevention (DLP) and data encryption products for enterprises.

The security market is very healthy in all the areas where Symantec plays, Jon Oltsik, analyst with Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG), told eWEEK. "Improved security/risk management is one of the top four areas for IT investment in 2011," he said.

"Symantec has very strong offerings in endpoint security, data loss prevention, email/messaging security, endpoint encryption and compliance management. Its security services [via cloud subscriptions] are growing very well. Symantec does have some gaps in its portfolio, but it has leading products where it plays in security and is experiencing strong sales and growth in these areas."

Chris Preimesberger

Chris Preimesberger

Chris Preimesberger is Editor of Features & Analysis at eWEEK, responsible in part for the publication's coverage areas. In his 10 years and more than 3,500 stories at eWEEK, he has distinguished...