Merger Could Affect Other Vendors

FRAMINGHAM (01/28/2000) - Even users of network and application-monitoring tools produced by companies other than Concord Communications Inc. and FirstSense Software Inc. could be hit by a ripple effect from Concord's acquisition of FirstSense, announced last week.

Many monitoring-software vendors "are licensing the FirstSense agent," said analyst Patrick Dryden at Giga Information Group in Dallas.

The agent resides on users' desktops and collects information on their configuration and tracks application performance. It sends that information to a console, which maintains historical data.

"It's likely that direct competitors of Concord's won't get that resource forever," he said.

DeskTalk Systems Inc., Columbia, Md.-based InfoVista Corp. and ProactiveNet Inc. in Santa Clara, Calif., are among the companies that license the FirstSense technology. Torrance, Calif.-based DeskTalk inked a deal in July to sell the FirstSense agent in its Trend ReportPack tool, which collects, summarizes and reports on application performance data provided by FirstSense.

The product has been in development, but DeskTalk will hold off the release while it reconsiders the future competitive landscape, said Debra Curtis, DeskTalk's director of product marketing.

Concord "called to say that at this time they're interested in honoring their agreements, but we'll be in direct competition with them, and we're not sure how we want to proceed," Curtis said.

DeskTalk users aren't left dataless, however. DeskTalk has a longstanding relationship with Ganymede Software Inc. in Morrisville, N.C., to provide performance data, "which is actually a bit more comprehensive technologically," she said.

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