May 8, 2006 4:23 PM PDT

Symantec admits to customer support woes

SAN FRANCISCO--Symantec has admitted it's falling down on customer support for its e-mail archiving product.

The security services provider has been experiencing difficulties in support for Enterprise Vault, a data management product picked up in its acquisition of Veritas Software, CEO John Thompson told attendees at the company's annual Vision customer conference here on Monday.

"We have struggled to ramp resources in support of the enterprise archiving product," Thompson said, responding to a question from a disgruntled customer. "It's not anything to do with funding issues, but finding the necessary skills in our support centers."

"In a way, we were victims of our own success--our product has taken off faster than we can train enough support operatives. This is being addressed through more training," Thompson added.

Before it was bought by Symantec, Veritas acquired the Enterprise Vault technology through its September 2004 purchase of KVault Software. The product provides automatic archiving and other data management for companies that use Microsoft Exchange, Lotus Domino, SMTP or Sharepoint.

Thompson pledged that Symantec would work on the Enterprise Vault problem. "We will fix it," he told Vision attendees.

The customer who raised the issue, Leon Combs, works for Virginia-based Inova Health Systems, which provides IT support for health services.

Combs told ZDNet UK that the problem he encountered lies in archiving from the journal mailbox. Under normal operating circumstances, the journal mailbox creates a copy of every e-mail sent and received, and archives the copies automatically. The issue led to a temporary breakdown in archiving, he said.

Symantec is continuing to promote its merger with Veritas as successful, but it acknowledged Monday at a meeting with reporters that the company doesn't have its ducks in a row yet on customer service and support.

Thompson said he doubted Symantec "could get to a point where customers are totally satisfied" with Symantec and Veritas product issues.

"We're a long ways from addressing these, to the extent that customers are going to be totally satisfied," Thompson said. "This is a little bit like on the employee opinion survey, it asks the question if you like your salary. How many of you answer that 'yes'?"

Tom Espiner reported for London-based ZDNet UK. CNET News.com's Joris Evers contributed to this report.

See more CNET content tagged:
VERITAS Software Corp., data management, archiving, e-mail archiving, Symantec Corp.

8 comments

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No Support for Windows XP 64-Bit Edition
Symantec won't even support the current 64-bit edition of Windows XP. Why should I wait for them on Vista? I'll take my business to Microsoft!
Posted by Ruteger (290 comments )
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Not Just Symantec
I've heard stories about Symantec's support issues and this is no real surprise. I'm sure Nick Mehta and co. will have something to say about this. I trust that Symantec will resolve the issues. Other vendors including Mimosa (to their credit, extremely responsive technical support for a small company - they just fixed a bug my company was experiencing) and C2C Systems are also experiencing support problems. The Mimosa system, as I understand it, doesn't even use the journal mailbox and the C2C product doesn't even have / or use a database (as noted in the recent Windows IT Pro article as a strong negative). Most of the archiving software products are just too complex and the buyer should expect that there will be issues with any of them. Until Microsoft makes this easier for ISVs to develop applications, expect problems. It's interesting that the Windows IT Pro article selects the KVS/Veritas/Symantec product as the winner in it's recent review. Also noteworthy are the products which they did not even bother to evaluate.
Posted by jedwardbrownn (1 comment )
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Symantec Technical Support really sucks! Can't get any satisfaction out of them. Norton 360-3 is a piece of trash. After purchasing 360 and finding it to be trash, I was told to purchase NIS-3-2008 which I did. They offered me 1 year of complimentary subscription plus would transfer 300 days left on 360 to my account. My # days now shows 350. Should be 350+365+300=1,015 days left. They apparently are not capable of doing simple math! If this is a personal attack, so be it. The truth is the truth.
Posted by rl636576 (4 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Symantec Technical Support really sucks! Can't get any satisfaction out of them. Norton 360-3 is a piece of trash. After purchasing 360 and finding it to be trash, I was told to purchase NIS-3-2008 which I did. They offered me 1 year of complimentary subscription plus would transfer 300 days left on 360 to my account. My # days now shows 350. Should be 350+365+300=1,015 days left. They apparently are not capable of doing simple math! If this is a personal attack, so be it. The truth is the truth.
Posted by rl636576 (4 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Symantec Technical Support really sucks! Can't get any satisfaction out of them. Norton 360-3 is a piece of trash. After purchasing 360 and finding it to be trash, I was told to purchase NIS-3-2008 which I did. They offered me 1 year of complimentary subscription plus would transfer 300 days left on 360 to my account. My # days now shows 350. Should be 350+365+300=1,015 days left. They apparently are not capable of doing simple math! If this is a personal attack, so be it. The truth is the truth.
Posted by rl636576 (4 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Symantec Technical Support really sucks! Can't get any satisfaction out of them. Norton 360-3 is a piece of trash. After purchasing 360 and finding it to be trash, I was told to purchase NIS-3-2008 which I did. They offered me 1 year of complimentary subscription plus would transfer 300 days left on 360 to my account. My # days now shows 350. Should be 350+365+300=1,015 days left. They apparently are not capable of doing simple math! If this is a personal attack, so be it. The truth is the truth.
Posted by rl636576 (4 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Norton - Symantec technical support sucks! When will companies realize that outsourcing to India doesn't pay!??!!!
Posted by jfringer3 (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
I am really pissed off about the 90 minutes I wasted last night with Norton - Symantec tech support. --Especially when Kyle at http://www.supportspace.com fixed the problem in 30 minutes---and gave me friendly, useful advice to boot!
Posted by jfringer3 (2 comments )
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