You can take a man out of technology, but you can't take technology out of a
man. This is very true of Darrell Riddle. He has been with Symantec and in the
security field for over 15 years. And he expects to be in this field for several
more years, which is becoming more dynamic as months go by
What new products from Symantec are in the pipeline?
We launched the BackUp Exec 11D in November 2006 worldwide, though this has
not been launched in a big way in India. At the moment, we are trying to spread
the word about this product among our channel. This is to ensure that when we
make some noise about the products among our customers, our partners are well
aware of its technicalities and can address all end-user queries.
Can you give more details about BackUp Exec 11D?
The Backup Exec 11D is a Windows Servers software, developed primarily for
small and mid-sized organizations, to offer continuous data protection beyond
Microsoft Windows file servers and workstations to include Microsoft Exchange.
This eliminates the need for daily Exchange backups and time-consuming
It features the granular recovery technology that enables recovery of
critical data from Microsoft applications like Exchange, SharePoint, Active
Directory and more in just seconds. Additionally, it provides enhanced data
security with 128-bit and 256-bit AES encryption capabilities, and extends
platform support with Backup Exec media servers running on x64-bit Windows
Incidentally, BackUp Exec 11D is our largest ever release. We have covered
over 73 new key areas, while developing it.
Why is Symantec suddenly focusing on the SMB segment, with products like
BackUp Exec 11D?
The reason is pretty simple. Enterprises are well aware of the importance of
data and have a strategy to protect it. They have IT departments with trained
personnel to look after data management alone. But the SMB segment does not have
Also in India awareness about data security and backup is still not very high
in the SMB space. Additionally these customers usually rely largely on Windows
OS for their desktops and servers. But currently, there is quite a bit of
migration taking place to other OS as well.
For instance, a SMB customer buys an old Windows box and then as the OS
starts needing more and more memory, they simply take Linux. With this kind of
multi-vendor environment, they need more protection for their data. Which is why
we have introduced the BackUp Exec 11D, which is more like a plug and forget
software with lot of autonomy built in.
But is the SMB really ready for this kind of products?
You have to understand that unlike the enterprise, the SMB segment operates
on a different level. Firstly, they might not have the dedicated technical
expertise that will deploy the latest systems. Secondly, they do not have large
IT budgets and have to maximize their investment. Additionally, SMB business
people prefer to invest in technology, which are legacy compatible and also can
seamlessly integrate into the existing IT infrastructure. We have over 104
pick-and-choose products that this particular vertical can choose. And we are
bullish about making sure that these options are available to them.
Is your channel equipped enough to offer service for products like the
BackUp Exec 11d?
There is not much servicing required for a product like BackUp Exec 11D. It
is more like an install and forget software with a few clicks for the
But yes, we take our partner's competence issues very seriously and are
always rolling out new programs for it. We have even started offering customized
training courses for them, based on their technological requirements. This is
because we don't see the point of giving all of Symantec's 140 products, if it
does not fit their core competency. In fact during this trip itself, I have
trained around 50 partners on BackUp Exec 11D.
Additionally we are proactiÂvely asking partners for their feedback all over
the world and then we work on these suggestions at a local level. We have
invested heavily into our partner portal, PartnerNet, which is comprehensive and
has information about all our offerings, schemes, offers and the support
that we extend to our partners.
What other products can partners expect from Symantec?
We will be launching the Ghost Solutions Suite shortly. Though this solution
is over a decade old, we are adding enhancements to it all the time. So with the
new additions, customers can migrate their systems quickly to Windows Vista and
protect their businesses from emerging threats and IT risks.
At the moment, we are really excited about our offerings for Vista OS, which
will be out in 2007. Our new versions of Symantec Anti-Virus Corporate Edition
10.2 will provide automatic defense and response against viruses and spyware or
adware for Vista. Its beta versions are already available on our website. Since
Symantec's first beta version was posted in December 2005, there have been more
than 70,000 downloads from customers wanting the real-time automated protection
of our security solution while testing Microsoft's new operating system.
My job role primarily is to work with our R&D teams worldwide and find out
how we can enhance our product offerings. One of our R&D labs is in Pune and I
keep getting a lot of ideas from my team here. Some of them are viable and we
are working on them. So you can expect some more announcements from Symantec