Legato Revamps Integration Strategy

Legato is finally addressing its customers' demands for better integration

June 26, 2001

3 Min Read
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Responding to customer demands to better integrate its storage management software, Legato Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: LGTO) painted a picture Monday of a new, integrated version of its product suite that it hopes will help rejuvenate its dwindling fortunes.

However, the integration work will not be complete until the end of the year, which leaves Legato chasing Veritas Software Corp. (Nasdaq: VRTS), the market leader for platform-independent management software by a considerable margin. Veritas stock is worth in the region of $60 a share, or roughly four times the price of a Legato share.

Kelly Polenski, director of product marketing at Legato, told Byte and Switch she blames the old management team for not being customer focused enough. Since the new executive team took over in October 2000, the company has had a much clearer vision of what its customers want."

David Wright took over as CEO and chairman of the board, while Andy Brown stepped in as the new CFO. “They revamped the entire team and very few of the old guard are left now,” Polenski says.

Legato's product integration and re-branding effort is centered around a couple of issues that are preoccupying most of the market. First, that volumes of data are expanding exponentially and must be stored online; and second, that service levels to access this data have to be offered around the clock. This requires an infrastructure robust enough to backup these large volumes of data while simultaneously providing access to it.“Our new roadmap addresses these two problems,” Polenski says.

Until now Legato has offered three separate components of management software:

  • Legato Networker, for information protection, which includes data backup and recovery software

  • Legato Automated Availability Manager for WANs, for monitoring application availability across large geographic distances

  • Automated Availability Manager, for Windows environmentsThese are being combined under a new umbrella system called the Legato GEMS (global enterprise management system) console, which will provide centralized management of the Networker and Automated Availability packages under one system.

    “We were offering best-of-breed components," says Polenski, "but this starts to become less important than the overall way to solve the business problem."

    Using Networker under the GEMS console, which will be the first piece that’s integrated, IT managers will have a single point of control for backing up and restoring data across branch offices. “The aim is to reduce the dependency on having specific people out at branch offices."

    Then Legato plans to integrated its Automated Applications Availability software into the console so that operations managers can rollout applications and have continuous monitoring of these applications from a central datacenter. “This will greatly simplify what is now a very complex procedure."And to speed up the rollout of the GEMS console component, Legato has written two QuikStartz packages, one for Networker and one for Automated Availability that include bundled consulting services. These come in three flavors and vary in price according to how much custom software has to be integrated and the number of servers on the network.

    Legato expects to announce the fine-tuning of its integration plans over the next few weeks, but until then it hopes its customers view this strategy as the right direction. Time will tell whether the stock market will see it this way. At press time, the gap between Legato's and Veritas's shareprice had narrowed slightly.

    — Jo Maitland, Senior Editor, Byte and Switch http://www.byteandswitch.com

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