Symantec promotes software as key to green IT solutions

Published: November 25th, 2008

Many businesses today are searching for solutions to help them more effectively use existing resources while at the same time drive down IT and other efficiency costs. To achieve these benefits, many organizations are turning to green IT solutions and practices, say Symantec (NASDAQ: SYMC) executives.

During a virtual roundtable press call hosted by Symantec, Jose Iglesias, vice-president of global solutions at Symantec, said green IT solutions are a great way for businesses to do the “right” thing for the environment, and save a lot of money in the process too.

“One of the most common questions I get from customers and partners is, ‘How can (I) leverage (my) existing infrastructures, while minimizing costs?’” Iglesias said. “That’s where software solutions come in, because you can wrap software around data and hardware to reduce the amount of equipment they have, while still keeping the same SLAs in their environment.”

By utilizing a cross-platform clustering software solution such as Veritas Cluster Server, organizations are able to remove underutilized equipment by consolidating servers. And with deduplication capabilities included in the software, less hardware is needed. Not only does less hardware translate to less power consumed, it also creates more space in the workplace.

Carmi Levy, senior vice-president of strategic consulting for AR Communications, said when it comes to green IT solutions, it’s a combination of hardware, software, controls, people and processes.

“The answer to any question in IT is never found solely in hardware or software,” Levy said. “It’s a combination of all of these. Software also allows businesses to shift their resources around so energy loads can be balanced within a data centre.”

Levy added software within the data centre can help manage the heating, cooling and ventilation, which creates more consistency and reliability.

Green IT practices and solutions are a priority for many business executives today, he added, because with each passing month, cost pressures become a greater issue for decision makers.

“All vendors today are in the process of reorienting their offers to play to the savings card,” he said. “We’re seeing marketing messages even if the products haven’t been significantly upgraded. Businesses are tasked with doing more with less and eliminating waste, so vendors are sending the green message along.”

With rising energy costs coupled with troubled economic times, Iglesias said Symantec business partners can help customers through the decision-making process of finding the appropriate solution for them.

Ken Gonzalez, group technical services product manager, Symantec Services, added that with the weakening economy, it’s more important now that customers look to use what they already have more efficiently.

“Resellers are bringing together multiple product lines and they should focus on what additional value they can provide to the customer,” he said. “This is an issue around saving money and using resources more effectively.”

Levy also said with software solutions in general, partners will see plentiful business opportunities because the “softer” the sale, the stickier the customer relationship.

“In software-based services and with services, there are more opportunities for partners to really strut their stuff,” Levy said. “Building and maintaining a long-time relationship with the client also makes it difficult for them to leave.”

Levy forecasts that the Canadian healthcare, financial services and manufacturing sectors will do particularly well with green IT solutions in the coming year.