Digital security isn't just a matter of semantics for Symantec. 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 consumer security software, which the company markets to PC users worldwide. In 2016 Symantec agreed to buy Blue Coat Systems for $4.6 billion to build up its enterprise-level business.
Symantec's information management segment is its biggest business, accounting for 39% of the company's revenue for 2015 (ended March). The segment provides backup and recovery, archiving and eDiscovery, and data storage.
Enterprise security brings in 32% of revenue. Its products are Secure Socket Layer (SSL) Certificates, authentication, mail and web security, data center security, data loss prevention, information security services, endpoint security and management, encryption, and mobile security software. The consumer security segment, mainly Norton security software, accounts for 29% of revenue.
The company's corporate headquarters are 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. About 45% of sales come from outside the Americas.
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 second straight year, Symantec experienced a dip in sales in 2015 (year-end March) to $6.5 billion from $6.67 billion in 2014. The consumer segment's sales were off 9% and enterprise security sales dropped 2%. Information management posted a 2% revenue gain for the year. The company's profit was off 2%, dropping to $878 million in 2015. Cash flow from operations rose to $1.31 billion in 2015 from $1.38 billion in 2014.
Symantec was ready to split its data storage unit into a business, but in the end decided to sell it. In the deal, expected to close in early 2016, the Carlyle Group will pay $8 billion for the Veritas unit. Minus expenses and a $1.5 billion stock buyback, Symantec will have a good deal of cash to invest in its security business.
In 2015, Symantec streamlined its consumer security line by streamlining its products into a single Norton Security offering. Symantec also deepened its enterprise security offerings with a managed advanced threat protection service and a managed incident response service.
Mergers and Acquisitions
In 2016 Symantec put down $4.6 billion to buy Blue Coats Systems, which develops and sells cloud-based security software for corporations. Symantec also gets a new CEO in the deal. Blue Coat's chief, Greg Clark, will take the Symantec leadership role, which had been vacant since the previous CEO left after disappointing earnings.
Previously, 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.