Symantec, the IT security and backup company, took a big step to increase their future presence in SaaS with a move to acquire MessageLabs, a provider of online messaging and Web security services, for 695 million dollars. A Symantec press release had this to say about the merger: "By combining MessageLabs’ deep expertise in the SaaS market with Symantec’s rich portfolio of technologies, Symantec will be able to offer a broad portfolio of online service to secure and manage information." Through cross-selling and up-selling to existing customers of both companies Symantec hopes to cover the complete range of needs for online, on-site, and hybird solutions to communications security.
Symantec's decision to acquire MessageLabs, a company with expertise in SaaS sales, operations and support, shows that they are betting that security in the cloud will be the next wave for security. The company's expansion may also be a signal that they feel security is one place where companies are unwilling to cut costs, even in a downturn. The IT world may see more mergers to come as larger companies, with positive cash flows, see opportunity in smaller more vulnerable operations -- operations that despite their price tag offer excellent services and expertises to customers.
Here's the full press release right here.