In a story that ran earlier today, InformationWeek's Antone Gonsalves detailed Symantec's plan:
Symantec plans to integrate MessageLabs' services with its own to form a new SaaS product group for businesses. Initially, such a combination would bring together MessageLabs' online e-mail and e-mail storage, IM, and Web filtering services with Symantec's online backup, storage, and remote access products. The latter makes it possible for corporate employees to access information and applications on their office PCs from any location where there's Internet access.
Symantec expects the combined technologies to give it "a great foundation on which to grow" its SaaS product line, John W. Thompson, chairman and chief executive of the company, said in a statement.
Rounding out Symantec's current online backup and storage services with e-mail security services makes perfect sense. While most companies still shun the outsourcing of security (a trend I suspect will dramatically change next year), enterprises have embraced the outsourcing of e-mail (and the associated anti-spam, antivirus, and storage) since MessageLabs' founding almost a decade ago. And the continued success of MessageLabs and even Postini clearly proved that point, while the success of CRM vendor Salesforce.com and Qualys' vulnerability and compliance assessment services revealed the market's interest in SaaS.