Studying Symantec and Altiris

Tuesday and Wednesday I'll be at the ManageFusion users conference as a guest of Symantec. They'll announce various end client, server, and network management products and upgrades. Since Symantec bought the network management company Altiris a couple of years ago, they've gradually been introducing more security into the Altiris products and more management into the Symantec products. This is one of those high tech mergers that seem to make sense, at least form the outside.

Attendees tend to be serious network management types for networks large and small. The attitude from Altiris / Symantec in the past has always been open, as executives talk more or less freely and say more or less the right things. I expect this show to be the same in that respect.

What I will be looking for are hints from users and resellers about handling IT budgets today, working with less resources, and still upgrading security at every turn. It seems the hackers are not retreating but actually increasing. Worse, bad times make users more desperate and therefore more susceptible to spam, scams, and phishing attacks.

Vendors always say more automation helps IT resources go further when manpower is stretched thin or cut due to layoffs. True, but companies laying off IT folks aren't exactly looking to buy new products if they can avoid it. The old insult “he throws nickels around like manhole covers,” attributed to a Hollywood executive in the 1930's, now applies to managers everywhere.

If you have questions about network management, server management, or endpoint security, leave a comment. I'll look for answers while I have all the Altiris smart people cornered.

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