Veritas Software finally received the green light from US regulators last week to merge with the Seagate Software Network and Storage Management Group (NSMG) following a six-month delay.
The tie-up, worth between $2 and $3 billion, was given the go-ahead last week by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), although completion had been expected in January. Veritas' largely direct operation will link up with Seagate's channel-based model.
Veritas will spend the next three months in consultation with resellers, distributors and OEM partners before making any significant changes. It plans to revise its channel infrastructure in September ready for implementation in January 2000. The amalgamated operation will phase out the Seagate Team Exec channel programme brand and replace it with the Team Veritas tag.
Paul Seagrave, regional director for northern Europe at Seagate Software, refuted that the merger would compromise the vendor's two-tier reseller channel. 'Our strength historically is in NT systems and we haven't been as strong in the Unix market. It is vital that we and our channel have exposure in that space and the merger will complement our channel,' he said.
Lindsay Armstrong, managing director of Veritas, told PC Dealer: 'There is a perception that Veritas is a direct sales Unix house, but we are working towards expanding our channel to 85 per cent of sales following the merger.'
But Armstrong declined to discuss any other prospective changes. 'The channel isn't a homogeneous blob, but a multitude of distribution outlets, of which direct sales is a component. We're trying to construct an integrated channel and we need to discuss the merger with our partners to see how they believe they might benefit from it, but we will also increase our direct sales force,' she said.
The merger is one of the largest in the software industry, giving Veritas a market capitalisation of about $5 billion. The deal attracted the scrutiny of the SEC when Seagate Technology, former parent of Seagate Software NSMG, took a 40 per cent stake in Veritas.
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