EMC Buys IT Service Desk Player Infra

EMC aims to boost IT infrastructure management products with acquisition

March 12, 2008

2 Min Read
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EMC has acquired Infra, a privately held supplier of Web-based IT service desk automation software, for an undisclosed sum.

EMC said the deal won't have a material impact on revenues or EPS for 2008.

Infra, founded in 1991, claims 400 customers. It is headquartered in Sydney, Australia, with offices in California, Canada, the U.K., and France. EMC says all of these locations will stay open, and all of Infra's 156 employees will be retained as part of EMC's Resource Management Software Group (RMSG), which is headed by Chris Gahagan, EMC SVP of resource management software.

Infra managing director Andy Wade will continue to head up Infra as managing director of EMC's RMSG, answering to Chris Gahagan, who in turn reports to Howard Elias, president of the EMC Global Services and Resource Management Software Group.

Infra's specialty is the management of IT service tasks using a Web interface. Its product, InfraEnterprise, is a modular "service desk" that includes Incident, Change, Configuration, Release, Service Level, and Availability Management packages. All use a Web-based interface and are compatible with the IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL) specs popularized for enterprise IT groups.According to EMC spokesman Michael Gallant, EMC will continue to sell Infra's products as they are today, while working toward technology integration. No roadmap dates will be revealed.

Infra also boasts automated work-flow capabilities, a strength recognized in a Gartner report in August 2007. In that report, analyst David M. Coyle also described Infra's product as "easy to implement and configure" and noted "solid execution and easy-to-negotiate pricing" as further strengths.

On the downside, Coyle listed Infra as a "niche player" and cautioned that Infra needed to "improve the ease of integration between its service desk tools and other vendors' ITSM [IT service management] tools."

Infra, like competitors BMC, CA, and HP, isn't a specialist in automating storage management, which is widely considered unnecessary or tangential by enterprise data center automation suppliers. However, Infra can add provisioning and configuration controls for any third-party device to its configuration management database (CMDB) by working with its own and others' APIs.

Infra has released a "plug-in network connector" for EMC SMARTS software, for example, which conveys data from EMC's system to Infra's work-flow engine.Today's news centers attention on EMC's ongoing effort to reshape itself not only as a maker of storage products, but as a provider of "information infrastructure solutions." In pursuit of this goal, EMC's waging a multi-pronged campaign to buy its way into product areas where it lacks presence. Examples include this week's so-far-unsuccessful bid for consumer storage supplier Iomega, and last month's agreement to acquire consumer storage service provider Pi.

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