The anti-virus systems supplier will push a range of e-mail management solutions Two months after completing its US$13.5billion acquisition of Veritas Software, Symantec is sharpening its investment focus in Asia, pursuing new alliances and stepping up the release of integrated security and storage software products to market. Vice-chairman and president Gary Bloom, formerly chief executive at Veritas, said the strategy reflected the pre-merger approach of the two firms, 'which is to add capacity to sell and service customers locally' across the region. 'We have a robust road map for integration over the next 12 months,' Mr Bloom said. Symantec, the world's top supplier of computer anti-virus systems, agreed to buy storage specialist Veritas last December in what is the largest merger in the software industry to date. The deal closed on July 2, making Nasdaq-listed Symantec the world's fourth-largest software company, with annual revenues of about US$5billion. 'Our business is now about 75 per cent enterprise and 25 per cent consumer. But it is our consumer brand that gives us great awareness in the enterprise market. Asia remains our fastest growing market,' Mr Bloom said. He said the new company's initial agenda was to ensure that products from the pre-merger Symantec and Veritas worked well together before pushing development of what he described as 'integrated e-mail management solutions'. Research firm Gartner estimated that anti-virus software accounted for 80 per cent of Symantec's revenue, while backup accounted for more than 60 per cent of Veritas' revenue before the merger. Working with systems integrators, network operators and other distribution partners, the new packaged systems will automatically scan networks for viruses, spam, spyware and other malicious programs and manage data storage based on the requirements of each consumer or enterprise. 'Our other, early deliverables include a resilient infrastructure', which integrates the firm's DeepSight advanced threat management system to allow enterprise storage systems to know network weaknesses days earlier than what is accomplished now and prompt more frequent data backup according to threat levels found on the network, Mr Bloom said. 'We have the ability to start changing things if you have any vulnerability,' he said, noting that most companies under threat could 'only hope that network downtime won't hurt them'. Symantec's partnership with IBM had also strengthened after the Veritas acquisition. 'We're forming lots of different alliances,' Mr Bloom said, noting that included discussions with partners in China. 'But we've been making lots of announcements with IBM of late.' He said IBM had become more comfortable dealing with the new Symantec, especially on the storage software front, because there was no longer a threat it would be acquired by a hardware competitor. 'I don't think we realised before the merger how much IBM was holding back on working with Veritas because it feared EMC or Hewlett-Packard would purchase Veritas,' he said. Symantec had not slowed down its acquisition drive. Last month it announced the purchase of privately held network access control specialist Sygate. Its 'endpoint' compliance technology will help Symantec customers enforce enterprise-wide security by guaranteeing that all devices connected to a network - desktops, laptops, servers and mobile devices - run appropriate security systems and are configured correctly. 'Our expense models haven't materially changed in the merged company,' Mr Bloom said. 'This is about growth, not cost synergies.'