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Shortly before Veritas Software Corp. CEO Gary Bloom took the stage at the eighth annual Veritas Vision conference in San Francisco on Monday morning, one attendee said to another, "There's going to be a bloodletting as [Symantec Corp. and Veritas] merge. I don't care what anybody says."
In his keynote, Bloom didn't say anything about layoffs, but he did address the enterprise storage company's commitment to research and development and to innovation via investment and through mergers and acquisitions.
Noting that the company had $2.04 billion in revenue last year, Bloom said that Veritas' profitability had allowed it to make strategic acquisitions of companies such as Ejasent, a virtualization technology vendor, Invio, which made IT process-automation technology, and KVault Software, a worldwide leader in E-mail-archiving software. Such profitability allowed Veritas to invest more in R&D than competitors, he said. Compared with typical companies in the industry, which invest 10% to 11% of quarterly revenue in R&D, Veritas invests 15% to 17% of quarterly revenue, Bloom said.
"We have the track record of innovation," he said. "We've been at it for 15 years. We've been very successful."
In 2000, Bloom said Veritas spent $174 million on R&D. In 2004, that figure had risen to $347 million.
"The key to all this innovation is ultimately delivering product," Bloom said, noting that two Veritas products, NetBackup 6.0 and Enterprise Vault 6.0, are scheduled to be revealed at the conference. He also mentioned a new Veritas technology called "Panther" that will be discussed at the conference.
Bloom then went on to make the "case for convergence," which, not coincidentally, is also the case for Symantec's merger with Veritas. "Today, information and currency are becoming one and the same," he said.
Touching on traditional risk management--keeping data centers secure from disasters--and emerging risks such as hacking, he said that innovation would come as security becomes part of the data-management stack.
Reiterating what Symantec CEO John Thompson and he have said previously, Bloom said that the post-merger company would combine Veritas' expertise in information availability with Symantec's knowledge of information security to deliver information integrity.
The initial goal of the merger was interoperability, Bloom said, and in six to 12 months, there would be more of a focus on linking technologies to drive new capabilities. He acknowledged that work has to be done to improve and simplify licensing across various product lines and said the company is working hard to listen to the needs of its customers.