The acquisition of PassGo Technologies will extend Quest Software's multiplatform management capabilities. Some PassGo customers will, however, face product integration and support issues.
On 5 December 2007, Quest, an infrastructure management technology provider headquartered in Aliso Viejo, California, announced an agreement to acquire PassGo, a privately held provider of identity and access management (IAM) technologies based in the United Kingdom. Quest expects to close the transaction in early 2008.
Quest's planned acquisition of PassGo will aid its expansion into superuser privilege management (SUPM). PassGo's Unix Privilege Manager (UPM) and related products fill functional gaps with Quest's Vintela Authentication Services and related products gained in its 2005 acquisition of Vintela. PassGo's Defender 5 stronger-authentication products and Quest's Active Directory/Unix integration tools will represent a potentially powerful combination, if joined with an effective enterprise single sign-on (SSO) solution. Gartner believes Quest is likely to retain and enhance many of PassGo's mainframe identity administration tools, as well, because of recent growth in managed identity services and the needs of identity administration for virtualized systems.
PassGo's identity administration assets will move Quest beyond its Windows-centric coverage into multiplatform password management, making it a more effective competitor against Avatier, Courion and M-Tech for password management projects. Quest will also acquire PassGo's customer base in these areas, which, though small, will serve as a starting point for sales of refurbished identity administration and audit tools, as well as of existing Quest products.
The acquisition will present challenges for Quest, however. PassGo's current product suite is fragmented, in both technical and marketing terms. Quest will need to make decisions about which products are strategic fits and which overlap in key areas. PassGo's SafeKeeping, Defender 5 and UPM products are potentially strong product sets, but its Enterprise SSO is not, and this will impact both Quest's and PassGo's customers.
Recognize that, while this acquisition is a positive development for both Quest and its customers, it will be some time before product reconciliation and integration plans are complete.
Demand a product road map for the combined entity.
Consider Quest a viable alternative to providers such as Fortefi and Symark Software in SUPM and shared- account password management.
Consider Quest a viable alternative to providers such as Avatier, Courion and M-Tech in the password management market, but only when the capabilities of the combined entity are clear (likely by late 2008).
Expect at least some of PassGo's products to be sold off or discontinued — or to have alternative plans made for them — particularly in its traditionally weak areas such as Enterprise SSO.
Demand assurances of continuing support for your installed products and transition away from discontinued products under current maintenance agreements.
Begin evaluating alternative technologies, and prepare contingency procurement plans, particularly in areas such as Enterprise SSO.
Enterprises evaluating multifactor authentication providers:
Evaluate Quest/PassGo, along with providers such as Vasco and EMC's RSA division, especially for the Windows environment.
"Identity and Access Management Technologies Defined, 2008” — Broad, integrated IAM solutions are a growing "must have," but a full solution requires multiple products, likely from multiple vendors. By Ant Allan
"Security Information and Event Management Complement Identity and Access Management Audits” — Security incident and event management tools add to IAM audits by providing broad user activity monitoring and event correlation. By Mark Nicolett and Earl Perkins
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