“We are a very focused behemoth,” Symantec CEO says

Symantec CEO Greg Clark

Symantec CEO Greg Clark

LOS ANGELES — Just over two months after Symantec’s purchase of Blue Coat closed, former Blue Coat CEO and now Symantec chief Greg Clark made the case to partners for the combined security powerhouse at its Partner Engage conference here.

With his roots on the engineering and coding side showing heavily through his presentation, Clark offered partners a look into what the company feels are its advantages as a newly-combined entity.

Clark started by addressing concerns he’s said he’s heard from customers and from the industry that “Symantec is tired,” or not innovating, calling the criticism “not true” after a lengthy pause he joked was necessary to avoid his own “hot mic” language moment.

“We are going to show up as a new force in cyber-security,” Clark told partners of the combined Symantec and Blue Coast in attendance, before detailing the company’s 3,000-plus R&D-focused engineering staff and what they’re working on. “We are a very focused behemoth.”

That focus, Clark said, is on creating an integrated security platform that ties together Symantec’s background in endpoint, DLP, and other aspects of security, with Blue Coat’s background in Web gateways. He noted there was “zero overlap” between the two company’s product lines, and shared how the ability to bring together both the functionality and analytics of the two product lines was already creating advantages.

He offered the example of what turned out to be an attack by Chinese hacker group APT3 or Buckeye on the government of Hong Kong, announced last month ahead of elections in the Chinese Special Administrative Region. Clark walked partner through how the combined knowledge of Symantec and Blue Coat security systems allowed the company to piece together the attack, where it was coming from, and how it was exfiltrating data.

“Prior to our putting our telemetry together, we couldn’t have stitched all that together,” Clark said, noting that just the ability to correlate and compare data between Symantec and Blue Coat systems was going to “drive the effectiveness of even our point products through the roof.”

The company calls its strategy integrated cyber defense, and positions it as a platform on which to build security. Of course, theirs is not the only offering to be positioned as a platform, but Clark laid a subtle jab at competitors in describing Symantec’s as “truly open,” not a program where third parties “have to be in [the security vendor’s] tent” to participate.

“If you’re selling into the high end, we will mow down our competitors there,” Clark predicted. “We will win on each individual piece, and we think we’re the first real integrated cyber-security platform on the market.”

The conference is both the first Partner Engage to include partners from Symantec and Blue Coat, and the first time the event has been held separately from Veritas’ partner conference since the two came together.

Clark also provided some thoughts on the direction of individual parts of the portfolio, most notably its endpoint offerings. He urged partners to take a look at the machine-learning capabilities found in the latest version, Symantec Endpoint Protection 14, and hoped partners would use that new functionality to help the vendor fight the perception that its endpoint offerings are “old, signature-based” technologies.

Clark finished his case by arguing that Symantec has “the best balance sheet” in the security industry, and that it would use its cash and profitability to continue to innovate.

“A year from now, or eighteen months from now, it’s going to be very hard to compete with us,” Clark told partners. “We’re going to create an environment that really smart cyber-defense people want to be involved in. We’re going to test better, win more deals, and excite your customers.”

Symantec Partner Engage continues all day Wednesday at the Westin Bonaventure here.