Symantec seems to be one of those companies that toiled for 25 years to become an overnight success. The company has grown rapidly through mergers and acquisitions, not the least of which was systems management company Altiris in April 2007. Now in 2008, Symantec is a powerhouse player in security, systems management, application virtualization, storage management and compliance.
My time at the Altiris user conference ManageFusion 2008 two weeks ago tells me Symantec is definitely a company to watch, especially throughout this year as it really ties together its acquired and homegrown products. The code monkeys (Symantec's term, not mine) have been busy putting the finishing touches on Altiris Notification Server 7.0, which is now in beta and scheduled to ship in early autumn. This platform is going to be the architecture for the next generation of Symantec products. Here's a sample of what's new in this next release:
- Tighter integration with traditional Symantec products
- Completely revamped user interface - simpler and more interactive
- New service and change management and integrated workflow capabilities for more IT automation
- Hierarchy management
- More powerful and flexible Web reporting
- Improved installation and administration
Workflow technology (via the acquisition of Transparent Logic Technologies, or T-Logic) is another cornerstone technology for Symantec. Altiris Workflow is the business process automation engine for the Altiris systems management products. Customers can automate configuration and service management to reduce the cost and complexity of managing IT resources. For example, when a new hire comes into the company, entering him into the system can trigger a series of tasks and processes that can be highly automated, such as ordering him a new workstation, installing his required applications based on his business role, assigning security and network access rights, creating workspace on shared storage, and so on. Each step in the workflow can trigger specific actions, many of which can be fully automated to reduce the amount of IT intervention required to provide what the user needs.