Leading Oracle Tools Vendor Moves to Include MS

FRAMINGHAM (06/29/2000) - Directory management vendor FastLane Technologies Inc. Thursday announced it has agreed to be acquired by Quest Software.

Quest is one of the largest management tool vendors for Oracle products. Quest offered a total of US$100 million in cash and stock to acquire FastLane. The deal is expected to close in 21 days.

FastLane will continue to operate as an independent unit under the name FastLane, a division of Quest. FastLane President Jan Kaminski will retain his position and report to Quest Chairman and CEO Vincent Smith.

FastLane develops a suite of tools for planning for and deploying Active Directory. It also includes a tool for developing custom management applications. The Direct Manage Suite (DM/Suite) is made up of DM/Administrator, DM/Manager, DM/Reporter, DM/Developer and DM/Consolidator.

FastLane officials say they don't plan to change the current product line-up, just add to it.

The FastLane/Quest marriage completes a trio of mergers involving the top directory management vendors.

In February, Entevo, developer of the DM/Suite of directory management utilities, was acquired by BindView, which develops NetWare and Windows-based management software. Later that month, Mission Critical, which provides directory management and administration software for Windows NT and Windows 2000, merged with NetIQ, which develops network availability and performance management software for the Windows platform.

"These acquisitions reflect that the directory market is maturing rapidly," says Jamie Lewis, an analyst with The Burton Group in Midvale, Utah. "Now that Active Directory has shipped and companies are busy planning migrations, these tools are becoming more important. There is no doubt that enterprises need third-party tools to migrate to Active Directory."

Lewis says the mergers are natural, given that directory tools no longer exist in a vacuum and are more valuable as parts of larger management tool packages from one vendor. As applications become directory- and Web-enabled, enterprises will be looking for vendors that can provide tools to manage the directory and the databases the applications require.

FastLane officials acknowledged that fact and said they needed to find a partner to compete with the new powerhouses in the market.

"This gives us an opportunity to buddy up with a bigger player that gives us a broader reach," says David Waugh, vice president of marketing for FastLane.

"Our biggest challenge was to go out and grow as fast as we could, but we needed a currency to go out and buy companies. We could get it through IPO or by being acquired. An IPO was the plan, but it was nine to 12 months away.

Quest came along with the right vision: they plan to keep us together and grow us fast."

Quest's intent, according to Waugh, is to make FastLane the foundation for creating a set of management, monitoring and availability tools for Win 2000 and its complement of servers, including SQL Server and Exchange Server. As part of that strategy, Quest in April spent $12 million to acquire MessageWise, which develops performance monitoring and configuration management solutions for Exchange.

Quest develops application management products, such as performance, availability and monitoring tools, for Oracle Corp., SAP AG, PeopleSoft Inc. and IBM Corp.'s DB2 database. Quest CEO Smith said in a statement that the combination of the two companies would provide a "complete solution for managing and monitoring all of your critical open systems applications."

Quest, which is based in Irvine, California, reported revenue of $28 million in the first quarter of this year. The stock was down 5/8 in Thursday morning trading, to 52 1/2.

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