ID mgmt. world gets smaller as Quest buys Vintela

* Quest beefs up AD expertise with Vintela purchase

Quest software, which sometimes appears relentless in its pursuit of Active Directory-based technologies, opened its pocketbook again last week when it offered $56.5 million for Vintela, the company that pioneered extending simplified sign-on based on Active Directory to Unix, Linux and Java-enabled platforms.

Quest software, which sometimes appears relentless in its pursuit of Active Directory-based technologies, opened its pocketbook again last week when it offered $56.5 million for Vintela, the company that pioneered extending simplified sign-on based on Active Directory to Unix, Linux and Java-enabled platforms.

Quest says the deal is expected to close late in the second quarter or early in the third quarter of 2005.

The interest has been noted for some time, with rumors of an impending acquisition surfacing at the end of March. Last week, I spoke with David Waugh Quest vice president of product marketing and Jackson Shaw Vintela vice president of product management. Waugh noted that discussions had been going on for six months but that feelers had been sent out almost a year ago. Shaw confirmed that the discussions were taking place when he jumped ship from Microsoft last fall to take up virtual residence with the Linden, Utah company.

<aside> Small World department: Waugh was a vice president at Ottawa's Fastlane Technologies when it was acquired by Quest. Shaw was sales vice president at Zoomit in Ottawa when that company was acquired by Microsoft. It sometimes seems that the entire identity management industry is populated solely with Canucks! </aside>

As well as speaking to Waugh and Shaw last week, I also spoke with Tom Kemp, CEO at Centrify, which has been Vintela's only real competitor. Everyone agreed that there's more business in integrating Unix and Linux to Active Directory than either Vintela or Centrify can currently handle. Where opinions differ is about what happens in the future. Quest/Vintela believe that niche products like directory integration need to be part of a suite of product offerings that manage all aspects of the directory and the network (platforms, users, applications, etc.). Centrify, on the other hand, believes that users still want to assemble "best of breed" offerings into customized solutions to their needs.

There are rumors and undercurrents in the industry claiming that Vintela always saw a buyout as the way the company would go and that the timing was driven by the difficulties (http://www.sltrib.com/business/ci_2624261) into which its major investor, the Canopy Group, had gotten. Others see the upcoming release of Windows Server 2003 R2 - with a plethora of identity related features - as making this the best time to sell for Vintela, as its value might begin to erode.

This also raises the question "whither Centrify?" When Quest bought Fastlane five years ago, it signaled open season on small companies offering migration tools to move Windows NT networks to Windows 2000. Within a very short time, Fastlane's major competitors were also acquired - Entivo by Bindview and Mission Critical by NetIQ. Centrify's Kemp assured me that there are no plans for the company to be acquired in the next year (we'll check back on that statement), but it's intriguing to note that NetIQ's co-founder and senior vice president of products at the time of the Mission Critical acquisition, is the same Tom Kemp who founded (and is CEO) of Centrify.  It's a really small world!

Learn more about this topic

Quest snaps up Vintela to aid with Windows integration

NetworkWorld.com, 05/31/05

Guess who's working at Vintela

Network World, 02/23/05

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