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Security Platforms/Tools

Symantec Strolls Off With Sygate

Symantec Corp. (Nasdaq: SYMC) is continuing its M&A tear, snapping up hot startup Sygate Technologies Inc. for an undisclosed sum (see Symantec to Acquire Sygate).

The security giant, which completed its $13.5 billion deal for Veritas Software Corp. (Nasdaq: VRTS) only a few weeks ago, has now ended months of speculation about Sygate’s future (see Symantec, Veritas Complete Merger).

Industry observers have long cited Sygate as great acquisition bait, with Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) and Juniper Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: JNPR) suggested as possible predators (see Could Sygate Get Snapped Up?).

Sygate is one of a handful of vendors offering a technology called Network Admission Control (NAC). Essentially, this is software that enforces security policies across a range of devices, such as firewalls and switches. The technology can also coordinate anti-virus, spyware, and denial-of-service products from a number of vendors. NAC is hot news at the moment because users are struggling to coordinate a plethora of existing security products (see IT Managers Sweat Security and Chambers Shouts About Security).

Jon Brody, Sygate’s vice president of marketing, tells NDCF that the majority of Sygate’s staff will be moving over to Symantec, although he confirms that there will be a small number of redundancies in areas such as finance. “This is an acquisition of people and expertise as much as it is technology,” he says.

Sygate’s staff will be remaining in their “beautiful” Fremont, Calif., headquarters, where there is a year and a half left on the lease, according to Brody.

Symantec is also looking to get its paws on the Sygate customer base. The startup has 400 large enterprise customers, which include such big names as Prudential Financial Inc. and Diebold.

What’s in it for Sygate? Much better customer reach, according to Brody. “Symantec’s distribution is amazing -- in every market of the world there’s a significant [presence].”

Initially, says Brody, Sygate’s software will still be sold under the startup’s banner: “For the next three to six months, Sygate’s products will be sold as they are." Upon the close of the deal, however, the Sygate products will be rebranded. At that time, Symantec is planning to offer its own AntiVirus and ClientSecurity customers the ability to license Sygate’s NAC; and it will be integrating its LiveUpdate and data availability products with Sygate’s portfolio.

Although he won't name names, Brody tells NDCF that the startup had no shortage of suitors. “Sygate has always been interesting to many companies over the years. But Symantec made the most sense -- to our employees, to our customers, to our partners, to our shareholders.”

— James Rogers, Site Editor, Next-Gen Data Center Forum

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