back to article UK-based Veritas appliance support is being killed off

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 …

  1. Korev Silver badge

    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.

    Or maybe customers will ring "their" old TSEs who will help out of customer loyalty?

    Good luck to all those impacted by this.

    1. ForthIsNotDead

      Nah. Not going to happen. The Core Team will be shut off from dirty scroats ringing up and asking questions. That assumes, of course, that the UK crew that are going to move into the core team aren't just sacked, or quit and go and work elsewhere.

  2. AMBxx Silver badge

    FTFY

    New teams in theUSA and India to handle customer cases

    1. Steve K Silver badge

      Re: FTFY

      Bingo - moving roles to the US would be cost-neutral at best, unless they are going to use US-based Indian support techs on a Visa...….

      1. Multivac

        Re: FTFY

        If they are hoping to use US-based support techs on Visa's they may be in for a shock, I work for a US company and we're providing desks for a load of Indian support techs have been exiled here with expired H-1B's.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: FTFY

      >New teams in theUSA and India to handle customer cases

      Hello I am calling about a problem with your Veritas Internet and I need you to install Teamviewer (or similar, you get the idea).

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: FTFY

        lol the existing Pune standard response is "I am ready for your Webex now". Then they do a 3 hour Webex where they watch the customer go through their emails. They do this for several weeks until the Appliance case is passed to the UK where the UK Appliance guys fix the problem in 30 minutes. (Despite the Pune TSE having put NO information on the case at all. No notes, no POA, no updates.)

  3. Adelio

    O.M.G

    I am sick and tired of companies treating their customers as an annoyance. Moving perfectly good call centres out of the country to a "!new and Improved" call centre in "cheaper" mumbai or thailand etc.

    Thait IS the way to loose my custom. I can put up with Scottish call centres, most of the time the Accent is not tooooo bad, but having to speak the a Mumbai "Hi I'm Fred". No, no. no..

    Trying to talk to anyone where English is not their primary language is always going to be harder, especially on a poor phone line.

    Some words they just do not understand and others have a different meaning.. try talking about BACS to an indian Developer. They just look blankly at you.

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge
      1. BebopWeBop Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        Re: O.M.G

        I almost spat out my coffee rewatching that :-)

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: O.M.G

      This sucks to colossal levels !

      We've struggled literally *years* to have our installation properly supported with BCS, because we never could get anywhere on *any* ticket with the first line, which, basically, reads a script, ask logs, again and again, and eventually loops back to the first set of logs !

      Guess where first line is: india. So we're basically back there !

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: O.M.G

        Pune TSE's get top level training. Loads of it, like all other Veritas Staff. Then somehow or another within 2 weeks they have forgotten everything they learned and go back to "I am ready for your Webex now" where they spend 3 hours killing time on a Webex watching a customer go through their emails.

        Complain to your BCAM to get it passed to the UK or US if you want to get any progress !!

    3. steviebuk Silver badge

      Re: O.M.G

      You could argue Scots first language isn't English. But then I don't want to get lynched.

      :)

      Sorry. I'll get my coat.

    4. Lars Silver badge
      Happy

      Re: O.M.G

      "having to speak the a Mumbai".

      ?.

      1. Tomato Krill

        Re: O.M.G

        Quite.

        Not sure about the full stop after a question mark, though.

    5. Anonymous Crowbar

      Re: O.M.G

      "Trying to talk to anyone where English is not their primary language is always going to be harder, especially on a poor phone line."

      I thought that would have actually included the Scottish. :P

    6. Multivac

      Re: O.M.G

      You reminded me of the time I was on a conference call with a Scottish sales rep from IBM and my Indian boss (who had lived in the US for many years). My boss could not understand a word the IBM guy said so I had to mute my phone and type what he was saying into skype so my boss could have the conversation.

    7. streaky Silver badge

      Re: O.M.G

      They'll bring it back when it all goes to shit a la TSB. Golden parachutes for everybody!

      1. Echowitch

        Re: O.M.G

        Or like Pepsi with their UK Accounts Team. Shunted the roles out to India who fracked everything up for a year plus. Not just any accounts either. Accounts like Tesco, Asda, Morrisons, etc. Multi-million dollar a DAY accounts. The problem was all of the accounts were dealt with differently. The UK Team would have 1 person have 2 or 3 accounts max and they would know all the differences and in's and outs. When they moved it all to India it was a large pool of IBM India staff who had a basic general understanding of the process but no knowledge of the intricate differences. So they kept screwing up these enormous accounts.

        Pepsi cut their losses and moved everything back to their UK office. Ironically which is in direct line of sight of Veritas UK's office.

    8. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: O.M.G

      Indian tech support consists of mumblers. If they aren't mumbling they go silent and don't answer if you ask them any questions as they don't know the answer to anything and don't want to admit it.

      Pisses us techies off no end having to deal with them.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Veritas

    Wasn't that a vaguely fascist political party started by Robert Kilroy-Silk?

    1. katrinab Silver badge

      Re: Veritas

      Yes, one of two politicians who managed to get kicked out of the party that he founded. Tommy Sheridan is the other, he managed to do it twice.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Nominative determinism

    James Blamey, Veritas's director of corporate communications...

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Improving profits by lowering customer sat.

    Nice one.

    1. Killfalcon Silver badge
      Joke

      What's the point in earning Good Will if you never spend any of it, eh?

      1. Korev Silver badge
        Coat

        Didn't they make a film about people trying to find that? Good Will Hunting I think it was....

  7. MRS1

    Note the corporate ownership: Carlyle Group. This is mega big business private equity.

    My impression is that their business model is to ruthlessly cut costs with a view to making the financials look as good as possible such that the business can be resold at a profit. What they do not care about are the fundamentals, i.e. what actually generates and sustains value in a business. And so consolidation of this sort looks good in the short term and perhaps even medium term but, in the longer term, costs far more money than it saves.

    It's selfish, it's vandalism, it's short termism at the cost of damaging real business sustainability.

    It beggars belief that they can find buyers for businesses they've damaged in this way but they still seem to manage it. It seems that, above a certain level, good business practices no longer matter.

    1. Tomato Krill

      Focuses:

      1. Annualised recurring revenue

      2. See (1)

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "Note the corporate ownership: Carlyle Group. This is mega big business private equity."

      Exactly. I think they bought Veritas 2 years and a half ago off Symmantec. When I arrived at my new company to find Veritas appliances, I thought "Oh shit".

      Now, this is happening.

  8. JulieM Silver badge
    Alert

    Is it just me .....

    Please say I am not the only person for whom mention of the name "Veritas" calls to mind old caravan gas lights -- fetching a new mantle from the shop right on the other side of the camp site, only to bust it at the last minute; and listening to the rain bouncing off the roof as the picture on the mono TV got smaller and smaller as the battery became spent.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Could it be …

    … that the UK's no longer considered an important enough market to merit local support? Think we're likely to see a lot more of this.

  10. This post has been deleted by its author

  11. David Austin

    Backup Exec exit routes

    Anyone got recommendations for a good product to manage getting data onto a local tape drive for if/when this goes South? Hoping it's a contingency plan, as not even Symantec's best effort managed to kill it off

    Every time I've looked around, not found a suitable replacement for BE.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Another Opinion

    My 2Cents…

    I do not represent Veritas in saying this, but as an employee I like the move for two reasons.

    1. The UK was primarily Backup Exec support. Their skillset was limited when it came to appliances in my personal opinion. Obviously there were people skilled in NBU as well, but not much on the appliances and yet still, the majority were BE experts. FYI: BE is much more popular in UK than the US. I NEVER thought of UK support as being expert appliance support. I don’t mean to sound offensive to that team, its just that I have my “goto” people for appliances and none of them were ever in the UK.

    2. What I have noticed, and I heard others elude to, was that when you have too many support centers (and overlapping in timezones) the “best practices” becomes inconsistent and hard to control, even with the best tools. There is nothing worse than being told to do something by one TSE, in UK for example, but then another TSE in the US makes a different recommendation. Both might be right for different reasons (i.e. Workload, network env, storage IO, etc...). For that reason it makes business sense to consolidate sites, thereby consolidating knowledge and making the experience more consistent for customers.

    “Products handled by them include NetBackup Appliances, MSDP, Dedupe, and PureDisk, before it was killed.” Dedupe, Huh? Since when was there ever a product called "Dedupe"?

    Most important to me is that NetBackup and NBU Appliances are awesome products and make up the core of a much larger Data Management platform. I wouldn't work for Veritas if I didn't honestly believe that. Since the split from Symantec we have invested heavily on modernizing NBU and all of our portfolio. If you haven't seen the Veritas portfolio in the last 2 years you are missing out!

    Watch for the big release 8.1.2 (3.1.2) coming out soon!

    BNRSpecialist

    Veritas Employee

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Another Opinion

      "Most important to me is that NetBackup and NBU Appliances are awesome products and make up the core of a much larger Data Management platform. I wouldn't work for Veritas if I didn't honestly believe that."

      I'll give you this for NBU appliances, mate, since their performance is really good.

      But for NBU itself, no, sorry. A clusterfuck of tons of processes that communicate via RPC all over the place, security holes everywhere, rendering any update a russian roulette operation.

      Also, this strange habit to believe the hostname is all what dictates a backed up object reference in the catalog, and don't get me started on nbdeployutil which routinely sees one object 2 times, making your licensed costs rocket to the roof !

      And would Veritas decide one time on a DB engine ? There've been, what ? 6 on the last 15 years ? Used to be flat files, then BSD DBM, Oracle, I lost it after, now seems Sybase ! Possibly Postgres next ...

      Sorry for the rant, but once you'll come across, say IBM Spectrum protect (ex-TSM) or even Networker, you'll really change your mind.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Another Opinion

        Your information is outdated as far as APIs, security and nbdeployutil.

        We have published REST APIs, but as you said were traditionally built on RPC. More important is that RPC has been a great solution over the years and has been heavily used by our customers, but we have adopted REST as it has become more popular.

        I think this is a valid statement, "REST is made out by many to be ultimately superior to the other “RPC-based” approaches, which is a bit misleading because they are just different."

        https://www.smashingmagazine.com/2016/09/understanding-rest-and-rpc-for-http-apis/

        As far as security, we doubled downed on our communications hardening by adding secure comms. "NetBackup uses Transport Layer Security (TLS) protocol for host communication where each host needs to present its security certificate and validate the peer host's certificate against the Certificate Authority (CA) certificate." This gives you data encryption in flight between all clients, media servers, MSDP, Master, etc...

        We also have the option of data encryption at rest on MSDP. That encryption can take place at the client or the Media Server.

        Our appliances use Symantec CSP which is what is used in about 40% of ATMs. For years we have offered a $5000 prize at Blackhat for anyone who could capture a flag on our appliances. To date no flags have ever been captured and we have never had to pay out.

        The NetBackup Cryptographic Module is FIPS 140-2 validated.

        As for the catalog upgrades, if we were still running the same catalog over 31 years I would have to question our sanity. Obviously as we protect more data we need to improve performance, scalability, protection and also provide value back to the business. Today our ability to provide metadata about the data that is protected allows you to identify critical data, obsolete data, orphaned and stale data. Without that information and being able to visualize your data you can never properly determine your SLAs and therefor properly plan. NetBackup Admins can provide a goldmine of value back to the business beyond just data protection.

        I'm not here to discuss competitors, but the two you mentioned do not have the same full breadth of data protection capabilities for so many workloads available through NetBackup Appliances. No offense, but you sound about 4-5 years behind on your info. NetBackup outperforms and successfuly competes head to head with much more modern competitors than the ones you have mentioned.

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Another Opinion

      Pretty unrealistic view point from a „Veritas employee“.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Another Opinion

      "The UK was primarily Backup Exec support." Really ? And how many BE TSE's are there compared to NBU TSE's in Green Park ? Virtually none. GPK is and always has been primarily an NBU site. That is why NBU has not been touched by redundancies whereas BE and every other product has been slashed again and again !!

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