Symantec's future seems to be secure. The company provides security, storage, and systems management software for businesses and consumers. Symantec's applications handle such functions as virus protection, PC maintenance, data backup and recovery, intrusion detection, data loss prevention, spam control, content filtering, and remote server management. The company also provides managed services and training. Symantec is probably best known for its popular Norton family of consumer security software, which the company markets to PC users worldwide.
Symantec reorganized its business and sales operations in fiscal 2014 (year-end March) to go from four segments focused on market segments (Consumer, Security and Compliance, Storage and Server Management, and Services) to three segments that focus on function (User Productivity and Protection, Information Management, and Information Security).
The User Productivity and Protection segment (43% of sales) include Norton-branded products, endpoint security and management, encryption, and mobile offerings.
Information Management (38% of sales) focuses on backup and recovery, archiving and eDiscovery, and storage to ensure customers’ IT infrastructure and mission-critical applications are protected.
Finally, Information Security (19% of sales) protects organizations so they can securely conduct business while leveraging new platforms and data. These products include Secure Socket Layer (“SSL”) Certificates, authentication, mail and web security, data center security, data loss prevention, and information security services offerings.
The company's corporate headquarters are located in Mountain View, California. Symantec has operations in more than 50 countries throughout the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia Pacific/Japan, and Latin America. Slightly more than half of sales come from outside the US.
Sales and Marketing
Symantec sells its products through a direct sales force, as well as through distributors, resellers/e-commerce, computer manufacturers, and systems integrators.
For the first time in years, Symantec experienced a dip in sales in fiscal 2014 (year-end March), primarily due to short-term business changes from the reorganization. The year it made $6.6 billion, a 3% drop from 2013's $6.9 billion. It recorded $898 million in profits, a 17% increase compared to the previous year's $765 million, mostly because of lowered operating expenses. Cash flow from operations fell to $1.3 billion (down from $1.5 billion) to reflect the decrease in sales.
Looking for sustained long-term organic growth through product innovation, the company reorganized its business in 2014 to transition from being device-centric to having a broader focus of protecting and managing digital information. It also fired its CEO, who had only been at the helm for two years. For Symantec, core growth will come from integration and innovation, and the company has announced collaborative partnerships with Cisco and Giesecke & Devrient. It also plans on making several small acquisitions to boost its technology and engineering teams.
Mergers and Acquisitions
To that end, eyeing up BlackBerry customers, in 2014 it bought NitroDesk, which makes a third-party email app, TouchDown, that allows businesses to set email security policies like authentication, encryption and copy/paste restrictions.
In 2012 it bought mobile application management software developer Nukona to complement its previous purchase of Odyssey Software, a maker of similar applications. The deals were part of Symantec's push to build its line of products for protecting and managing mobile apps and data.
The company also fluffed up its cloud capabilities in 2012 with the $115 million purchase of archiving provider LiveOffice, which offers its information storage and management on demand. In 2011 it paid about $390 million for legal software developer Clearwell Systems. The deal added electronic discovery tools used by businesses to automate and manage functions related to government regulatory compliance and legal proceedings, among other uses.
Symantec also held a 49% stake in a joint venture with Huawei Technologies that develops security and storage products for telecom service providers. The company had reported losses on the venture every year since its formation, and in 2012 sold its stake to Huawei for $530 million.