Merging Vendors Target Windows Networks

SAN MATEO (03/03/2000) - This week's announcement that Mission Critical Software Inc., NetIQ Corp., and Ganymede Software Inc. are to merge has highlighted how smaller network management vendors are moving from offering products that solve specific problems to suites that can be used to manage entire network infrastructures.

The three-way, $2.7 billion merger is designed to result in a product suite -- due to launch at the end of the second quarter -- that gives enterprise customers and ASPs (application service providers) end-to-end capabilities for managing Windows NT and Windows 2000 networks. These capabilities include enhancing network infrastructure performance and directory and application performance management, said Rick Placzko, vice president of Marketing at Mission Critical.

"What you're seeing [via the merger] is one-stop shopping for Windows 2000 and Windows NT management," Placzko said. "The integrated solution ... will bring an end-to-end view from ... the client to the server to monitoring where all the [network] performance issues lie."

Richard Ptak, vice president of systems and applications management at the Hurwitz Group, in Amherst, N.H., attributed small vendors' moves toward offering integrated suites to a shift in the role of IT managers.

"The IT manager now must contribute to the solving of [general] business problems," Ptak said. " 'Not invented here' is being brutally stamped out."

This trend, Ptak added, is forcing network management vendors to accelerate the rate at which they add new capabilities to their products, with mergers and acquisitions becoming a key way of doing this.

Concord Communications, in Marlboro, Mass., for example, has added real-time reporting and monitoring capabilities as well as system and application management to its arsenal through the acquisitions of FirstSense and Empire, respectively.

Meanwhile, said Ray Paquet, an analyst at the Gartner Group in Lowell, Mass., larger vendors such as Computer Associates and Tivoli are watching the field intently, gobbling up potential rivals not only to add to their own resources, but also to keep them from banding together with others to form stronger units.

"You'll notice that the big guys are particularly carnivorous," Paquet said.

"That's the game they play. They're much more worried about each other."

Mission Critical Software Inc., in Houston, is at www.missioncritical.com.

NetIQ Corp., in Santa Clara, Calif., is at www.netiq.com. Ganymede Software, in Raleigh, N.C., is at www.ganymede.com.

Three-way party

Each of the three merging vendors has an area of speciality.

* NetIQ AppManager suite: Service-level reporting, automated problem detection and correction for Windows networks* Mission Critical Software One Point suite: Administration and directory management for Windows NT and Windows 2000* Ganymede Software: Network application performance management.

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More about CA TechnologiesConcord CommunicationsGanymede SoftwareGartnerGartnerHurwitz GroupNetIQTivoli

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