VERITAS Goes on the Offensive -

VERITAS Goes on the Offensive

VERITAS used the occasion of its quarterly earnings report to let analysts know it's not afraid of the competitive threat posed by the EMC/Legato merger.

"Legato is still very much the number four player and pretty much irrelevant in that market," VERITAS CEO Gary Bloom told analysts on the company's conference call.

VERITAS enjoys a healthy replacement business, Bloom said, and past efforts at wooing away Legato customers have been "very successful."

Bloom also downplayed the negative effect the EMC/Legato merger might have on the partnership between VERITAS and EMC . "The partnership we had with EMC was already turning competitive," he said.

In the face of the proposed EMC/Legato merger, VERITAS has launched another Legato customer conversion effort, trumpeting on the company's home page: "Legato customers: Is it time to migrate to VERITAS?"

VERITAS claims the EMC acquisition announcement has raised "countless questions among existing Legato customers. What will happen to the products you use? Will they be discontinued? Will EMC support them unconditionally or require an expensive upgrade? Will your choice of hardware platforms be limited?"

"This is also a good time to question whether your current Legato product is really right for your business," continues the customer conversion spiel, questioning whether Legato products can provide enterprises with single-instance-store for efficient backups or message-level recovery for Exchange e-mail servers. VERITAS also says it can provide customers with advanced backup methods, such as server-free backup, flash backup, and instant recovery options.

The firm doesn't stop there, bringing up additional questions regarding integration with other hardware and software. "How does your product handle integration with Sun, HP, Hitachi, and other arrays in your environment? And how does it handle integration with Oracle, Peoplesoft, VERITAS, and other industry-leading software products?"

VERITAS further cites a dozen Legato customers who have migrated to VERITAS, and says it is offering Legato customers a free, rapid assessment of their storage needs and a "special limited-time, no-risk offer."

EMC Lets Analysts Do the Talking

EMC didn't let the assault from VERITAS go unchallenged, responding with several analyst quotes "as evidence that the industry believes the combination of EMC and Legato is good for customers, good for Legato, and good for EMC."

Analyst statements provided by EMC included quotes from the Sageza Group and the Enterprise Storage Group. "Overall, we see this deal as great news for the principals, good news for customers, and lousy news for the competition," the Sageza Group said.

"EMC has made some big announcements," said the Enterprise Storage Group. "Lately, each announcement shows they are dedicated to the heterogeneous storage management market...With this acquisition, EMC has the broadest portfolio of products to address ILM (Information Lifecycle Management)."

EMC also made its own statement in response to VERITAS' latest customer conversion campaign. "Legato's solutions stand on their own merit and competing with VERITAS is nothing new for them. VERITAS' marketing campaign is a 'par for the course' response to a competitor being acquired and is not surprising.

"In fact, industry response in general has been so positive on this acquisition because the two companies have complementary products and Legato customers are assured of long-term investment protection with the backing of a multi-billion dollar company."

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