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UK-based Veritas appliance support is being killed off

New teams in the USA and India to handle customer cases

Veritas is planning to disband its UK-based specialist NetBackup Appliance support teams in favour of setting up new ones in the US and India.

This is all part of a grand plan devised by Veritas's parent Carlyle Group and restructuring specialist Axil Partners some months ago to bolster profits, in part by lowering operating expenses. This programme has the exec backing from Greg Hughes, the CEO who took over from Bill Coleman in January.

So far, UK R&D has fallen under the knife and the Customer Success organisation has also reallocated resources to lower-cost locations. Tech Support was the next area earmarked for change from the start of this month.

Technical Support Engineers (TSEs) come in three flavours: frontline (FL) look after non-BCS (Business Critical Services) cases; Advanced (ADV) oversee BCS; and Backline control looks after escalated cases from both FL and ADV TSEs.

These TSEs are also divided into generalists: core TSEs that cover Core, Appliances and Database NetBackup related cases; dedicated database TSEs; and NetBackup specialists.

On 21 August, Jonathan Pitone, veep of Veritas Support Solutions, told his organisation, via a Webex session that did not include the UK due to timezone differences, that new Appliance-specific teams would be set up in Veritas USA and Pune support facilities.

The existing UK Appliance Team TSEs, both Advanced and Backline, will be moved into the UK Green Park Core Team. Products handled by them include NetBackup Appliances, MSDP, Dedupe, and PureDisk, before it was killed.

In a Q&A document seen by us, Pitone said of the move to the US and India: "We are initially going to use the 57 people who are already skilled to Support Appliances. If someone does not want to do it, we will look to 'swap' them out with someone who does. This team SHOULD grow, considering the growth anticipated for Appliances."

Pitone, who confirmed an implementation date of 1 September, continued: "The plan is for it to be a permanent implementation but obviously we will adjust, as needed. The same metrics we use to measure performance today will still apply. The role will support Hardware and Platform cases, hopefully allowing TSE's to become proficient in both disciplines instead of having broad knowledge of NBU, Hardware and Platform cases."

The reason for the change, according to an insider, is to "improve customer fix times" but our source claimed it will have completely the opposite effect.

A risk is that the level of specialist Appliance support will fall as experienced Appliance Team TSEs in the UK move across to the Core Team, and support calls needing Appliance Team specialist-level expertise get serviced by the new Appliance Teams in the USA and India, where the staff will not, initially, have the same level of experience.

There has been no mention of any crossover process with the UK Appliance Team running in parallel with the new Appliance Teams to provide a continuing high level of support as they are brought up to speed.

James Blamey, Veritas's director of corporate communications, EMEA, said: "We would not comment on internal business operations."

Separately, he did confirm that Rick Valentine, senior veep and chief customer officer, split at the end of June, saying it was the exec's decision to leave. ®

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