Symantec and IBM will combine forces to deliver a single family of antivirus products to be marketed under the Norton AntiVirus brand name.
Michelle Amery, Symantec Australia and New Zealand general manager, said the IBM product would cease to exist and its immune system technology would be incorporated into the Norton product under a license agreement.
Amery admitted IBM was "not a major player" in the antivirus market, but the benefit for resellers is an improved antivirus product and access to a wider breadth of customers.
She said new versions of Norton AntiVirus would be released for OS/2 and the AS400 platforms. As part of the agreement, Amery said IBM had assigned its existing antivirus customer and OEM contracts to Symantec and will recommend Norton AntiVirus to its corporate customers worldwide as the antivirus solution of choice. In addition, IBM and Symantec intend to sell and market the Norton AntiVirus product line worldwide.
IBM will continue to develop its immune system technology in the TJ Watson lab in the US. Symantec in the US will take over IBM's customer base and support contracts. Amery said Symantec resellers in Australia will have access to a wider breadth of customers that will add similar profiles to their existing customers.
IBM's antivirus technology, part of the IBM SecureWay comprehensive portfolio of security offerings, has been awarded six patents for inventions - ranging from a neural network that uses artificial intelligence to detect new viruses automatically to the immune system itself.
In a related announcement, Intel said it will incorporate IBM's antivirus engine technology into its LANDesk Virus Protect products and other Intel network management products featuring LANDesk Virus Protect.