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Symantec sells off Veritas' hopes and dreams

Precise set free for a fee

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Five years and thousands of broken dreams ago, Veritas ate application performance management software maker Precise for $609m. And now Symantec is offloading the pricey baggage.

Symantec last week admitted to its embarrassment by announcing an agreement to sell the Precise i3 software assets to Vector Capital, a private equity firm. Once the deal closes, the assets and associated people will come back to life as Precise Software Solutions and presumably go in search of yet another buyer.

"Vector Capital has a proven track record for building strong technology businesses out of divisions it purchases and will provide Symantec’s APM customers with a more dedicated focus and investment," said Greg Butterfield, interim group president of server and storage management at Symantec. "Selling the APM business will allow the Storage and Server management team to focus on securing and managing information."

The Precise purchase sparked a flurry of acquisitions for Veritas as the company tried to move beyond backup, file system and volume management software. Veritas hoped to claim a central role in systems management, touching servers and storage boxes in as many ways as possible.

The Symantec acquisition muddied that vision big time. Rather than expanding, Veritas still occupies a very familiar place in the software food chain.

Left to its own devices, Veritas may have, for example, led the charge around virtualization management software.

No such luck.

We happen to miss the old, feisty Veritas so full of desire and ambitions. And we're not alone. ®

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