Quest/NetPro: Two classy organizations are now one

* What happens to NetPro's TurboCharge after its meger with Quest?

I want to discuss the big merger/aquisition announcement last week between Quest and NetPro, but before getting to that, there's a bit of a clarification about the last issue. Joerg Resch, senior partner at German-based analyst firm Kuppinger Cole, punctured my bubble this past week when he pointed out that the "fun" in Fun Communications (mentioned in the last issue) wasn't necessarily a reference to the joie de vivre spirit of the organization, but was an acronym for the founders - Feulner and [in German, "und"] Nahr. Of course, just to show that the Germans do have a sense of humor, he titled the e-mail "It's always FUN to read your newsletter."

I want to discuss the big merger/acquisition announcement last week between Quest and NetPro, but before getting to that, there's a bit of a clarification about the last issue. Joerg Resch, senior partner at German-based analyst firm Kuppinger Cole, punctured my bubble this past week when he pointed out that the "fun" in Fun Communications (mentioned in the last issue) wasn't necessarily a reference to the joie de vivre spirit of the organization, but was an acronym for the founders - Feulner and [in German, "und"] Nahr. Of course, just to show that the Germans do have a sense of humor, he titled the e-mail "It's always FUN to read your newsletter."

I did run into Joerg at the recent Digital ID World conference where I also saw Quest Senior Director, Product Management, Jackson Shaw. It was the first time I’ve seen them both at the same show since last spring’s European ID Conference. Also at the EIC I spent time with NetPro’s Gil Kirkpatrick and Christine McDermott – but neither of them were in Anaheim for DIDW. Turns out they may have been busy signing off on a deal – Gil & Christine are now colleagues of Jackson’s.

Now to the Quest/NetPro merger news. For Quest it’s just the latest move in a long line of acquisitions since 2000 of companies in the Windows and Active Directory management/extension space, including Jackson’s Vintela three years ago. See Network World’s John Fontana’s story on Quest/NetPro acquisition for more details.

While, as Fontana mentions in his story, Quest and NetPro did compete in some areas it was always a very friendly competition – each company had areas of superiority and both have superior people. The acquisition was sealed on Friday Sept. 12 and by the following Monday both staffs were meeting to, in Shaw’s words, “Ensure that none of our joint customers are disadvantaged by the acquisition or our product plans moving forward.” Two classy organizations, now one.

This is as good a place as any to mention that NetPro just recently launched TurboCharge, “…an online community resource… where NetPro and affiliated experts come to share tips, tricks, best practices, and more for your most challenging enterprise management and administration issues.” No word on if this will continue, though.

This probably won’t be the last merger/acquisition in the identity space this year, either. Both the speed with which identity technologies are being taken up and the weak economic climate we’re currently in both dictate that stronger companies needing to fill holes in their product lines will be acquiring smaller organizations looking to pay off their creditors. Not that this was the case with Quest & NetPro, but could be the norm for the next few months. More than ever, when evaluating an identity vendor, it’s important to find out where they expect to be in one, three and five years.

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