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Veritas users face pricing crunch

Since Symantec acquired Veritas almost a year ago, some Veritas users say the company is no longer honoring pricing discounts as contracts come up for renewal.

LAS VEGAS -- Veritas Software Corp. NetBackup users complained at Storage Decisions this week that since the company was acquired by Symantec Corp., Veritas is no longer honoring its discount pricing as contracts come up for renewal.

A large pharmaceutical and healthcare company [which requested its name be removed from this article] has thousands of NetBackup licenses and has been negotiating a new contract with Symantec for the past five months. "Since they've changed to Symantec, we're getting zero discount; we need to purchase more licenses, but Veritas is not honoring our discount anymore," said Brad Bennett, storage administrator at the company.

Prior to the acquisition, Bennett said that whenever his firm was between contracts, Veritas would always honor its 34% discount. "Now we have to go to other resellers to get that discount," he said.

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They aren't the only company feeling the pinch from Symantec. A government agency in California is in the middle of dealing with this very problem. "They want to base our maintenance off the new list price … they are only going to honor a small portion of our environment on our older pricing," according to a spokesperson for the county who wished to remain anonymous. "We are still talking with them about this … we're not happy."

Symantec spokeswoman Rena Sripramong said that the selling model for both companies has not changed since the merger. "You will have the same sales rep and you will be under the same model," she said. "The discount you get is in proportion to the number of licenses you buy ... If you are a large customer and you want to buy more licenses, but only 20 this time, not 10,000, you're not going to get the bigger discount."

Analysts say that this post merger period will be a tough time for Symantec as it tries to persuade both sets of customers to buy into the merged company.

"If [the discount issue] is true, shame on them," said Curtis Preston, vice president of services at Glasshouse Technologies Inc. "You expect some of this stuff to happen when acquisitions take place … But Symantec is probably worried that they will give the customer the discount price, the customer will buy everything they need, then they'll drop the company."

Other users at the show weren't aware of this problem, but nevertheless took the opportunity to complain about Vertias' confusing licensing model, an age-old problem that the company has still not addressed. "Tracking Vertias licenses is a nightmare, there's no easy way to do it," said Luke Kennedy, senior Windows server specialist at Luther Midelfort, a healthcare provider in Wisconsin.

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