RealTime IT News

Quest Makes ID Management Move

Quest Software became the latest management software vendor to bid for products that dole out identity policies, with its push to buy Vintela for $56.5 million in cash.

Vintela makes management software that helps non-Windows-based software work with products in Microsoft's broad application arsenal.

Specifically, Vintela's products make it possible for Microsoft's Active Directory, Group Policy, Systems Management Server (SMS), Microsoft Operations Manager (MOM), .NET, and Services for Unix to manage Unix, Linux, Mac and Java systems.

Vintela products include Vintela Authentication Services, which provides cross-platform identity management and authentication using Active Directory and Vintela Single Sign-on for Java, which is single sign-on for J2EE environments in Active Directory.

The Lindon, Utah, company also makes Vintela Group Policy, or group policy for Unix and Linux and Vintela Management Extensions, which provide SMS extensions for Unix, Linux, and Mac OS X systems.

Given that Quest and Vintela make products to help companies with disparate software architectures manage identities using Microsoft software, the fit seemed natural.

Microsoft also took a stake in Vintela last year. Around that time, Microsoft urged Quest to buy Vintela because of the apparent synergies, said Quest CEO Vinny Smith.

"We see the Vintela products as a key to our long-term strategy to extend Microsoft platforms," Smith said. "We're enabling customers to extend Active Directory to extend into Unix, Linux, Java, Mac and mainframes. This is consistent with the bet we made over five years ago that Active Directory would become a stronger presence in the directory world."

Quest entered the Windows market in 2000 as a $5 million company. Smith said Quest's work with Microsoft software has enabled the company to grow to more than $100 million in sales in 2004.

By acquiring Vintela, Quest expects to tap into what Smith said is a $400 million ID management market, with the potential of booming to $6 billion in four years.

IDC analyst Stephen Elliot said the $56.5 million price tag was a pretty hefty premium for Vintela to negotiate, but that Quest was getting a very successful suite of products.

"The key thing it does is enhances their Active Directory capabilities for management and security," said Elliot. "That's something for Quest that is pretty strong. Vintela was touted as a key partner for Microsoft management to make the SMS and MOM solutions more heterogeneous."

One of the reasons why Quest has been so successful to date is that customers want to consolidate the number of directories they have and reduce the amount of passwords and user accounts end users have, as well as leverage single sign-on software. This is important at a time when security policies and compliance regulations guide infrastructure purchases that cut costs.

Quest first championed Microsoft by making software to help customers migrate to Active Directory. The Irvine, Calif., company then built a suite of products to support Active Directory.

Adding the platform integration software from Vintela to help businesses address ID management issues is the latest phase. In the future, Quest hopes to leverage Vintela products to offer customers user provisioning, password management and end-user management across disparate platforms.

Quest, which battles IBM, Computer Associates, HP and BMC in the competitive management software arena, currently expects that the transaction will close late in the second quarter or early in the third quarter. Most of Vintela's 61 employees will join Quest.

Should the deal succeed, Vintela will join a group of identity management software makers TruLogica, Netegrity, Oblix and Calendra to have been snapped up in recent years.