Quest's Search for Identity

Software vendor snaps up startup Vintela for $56.5 million, as the identity management feeding frenzy continues

June 3, 2005

3 Min Read
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Quest Software Inc. has stumped up $56.5 million to acquire startup Vintela Inc. (see Quest Buys Vintela) and get a bigger piece of the action in identity management.

Emerging identity management products aim to guard access to increasingly complex enterprise IT systems. But the market is just getting going, and users bemoan the lack of comprehensive "all-in-one" solutions (see CIOs Face Identity Crisis). By acquiring Vintela, Quest is looking to offer a more competitive product set.

Vintela, based in Lindon, Utah, offers a range of products designed to extend Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) Active Directory password policies into Unix and Linux-based environments. The startup also provides single sign-on capabilities across Unix, Linux, Java, and Mac platforms -- a key driver behind the acquisition, according to Phil Schacter, group service director at analyst firm Burton Group. Some Windows users also need to access Unix systems, so this allows single sign-on for the Unix platform,” he says.

Like Vintela, Quest is an Active Directory specialist. The Irvine, Calif.-based firm sells products for managing Active Directory and is now looking to extend its reach beyond the traditional Windows environment.

The deal is expected to close either late in the second quarter or early in the third quarter of this year. There are no plans for job losses at Vintela. In some areas, Quest will be making additional investments in the startup. “We haven’t figured that out in exact dollars, but in terms of headcount, we’re looking at a number of people on the engineering [side]," David Waugh, vice president for product management at Quest, tells NDCF.Identity management may be relatively new, but it is big business. Computer Associates International Inc. (CA) (NYSE: CA) and Oracle Corp. (Nasdaq: ORCL), for example, have already been down the M&A trail (see Oracle Opens Its Wallet for Oblix and CA Nets Netegrity for $430M). BMC Software Inc. (NYSE: BMC) recently snapped up single-sign-on startup OpenNetwork in an attempt to expand its identity management product suite (see BMC Aquires OpenNetwork).

“Companies like Oracle, CA, and BMC are making investments in identity management, seeing that as a strategic technology they need to take to market,” Schacter says.

And there are plenty of smaller vendors still playing in this space. These include the likes of Caymas Systems Inc., Ping Identity Corp., Trustgenix Inc., and Centrify Corp., which offers a technology similar to Vintela's (see Startup Looks to Solve Identity Crisis, Ping Identity Joins Forces With IBM, and Trustgenix Extends Identity Federation).

One thing: Schacter predicts that federated provisioning, which helps a firm’s customers do business with its partners, could be a hot identity management differentiator in the coming months: “[Federated provisioning] defines the XML objects and the flow of information from one site to the other that describes the customer."

One major vendor that has already made moves in this space is Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE: HPQ), which has OEM'd Trustgenix’s IdentityBridge product (see HP Signs Up Security Startup).— James Rogers, Site Editor, Next-Gen Data Center Forum

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