Symantec Taking Grief Over Axed Services

Symantec taking grief over axed servicesSymantec Corp. is showing it doesn’t want partners and customers to notice when it discontinues service offerings. In addition to using the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday to obscure its retreat from the cloud backup market, it’s just now coming out that Symantec used the dog days of summer to cover its discontinuation of two security services.

Just before the holiday, Symantec announced it is discontinuing Backup, a cloud-based backup service, in January 2014. Following that announcement, the IT market and channel learned the vendor had already discontinued its MSS Managed Firewall and Managed Endpoint Protection services in June.

When asked about the security services retreat, Symantec said there wasn’t much to report as the actions were announced and executed nearly six months ago.

“Symantec MSS Managed Firewall and Managed Endpoint Protection were discontinued for sale and have not been available since July 1, 2013. Symantec communicated the changes to impacted customers and partners in July,” said Symantec officials in a statement toChannelnomics.

According to published reports, Symantec decided to shutter the security services because they had a small number of users. Shuttering the managed firewall and endpoint offering gave Symantec the opportunity to divert resources to other areas.

Symantec assured partners and customers they would receive support for the security services through their contract period. They are also being provided support for transitioning to other service providers.

Solution providers aren’t happy with Symantec’s decision to withdraw from these security and backup services. Rather than develop markets where they can provide competitive service offerings, they believe Symantec is disrupting existing relationship and sacrificing future opportunities.

Symantec got into the managed security services business in 2002 when it bought Riptech, a pioneer in remote monitoring and management of firewalls and other security assets. Symantec operates a security operations center in Virginia, which it frequently shows off to partners and customers.

Not all of the vendor’s services are getting the axe. The company maintains services such as Symantec Endpoint Protection Small Business Edition 2013 and Enterprise Symantec says it remains committed to servicing its partners and customers, and changes being made to its portfolio through the Symantec 4.0 realignment are designed to provide better options and outcomes.

However, the decision to shut down these security and backup services, as well as the obfuscated way in which Symantec announced the discontinuations, has some solution providers and customers wondering. When other security and backup services are thriving, it seems as though the vendor is withdrawing from opportunities.

For its part, Symantec says it remains committed to supporting its partners and customers, and these changes are part of the means that will enable ongoing support.