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The new year continues to see numerous acquisitions in the realm of systems management software. A couple of weeks ago Quest Software Inc., a software vendor well known for its database, application and systems management capabilities added yet more depth to its portfolio with the announcement that it had acquired a privately held supplier of e-mail archiving software, AfterMail Limited.
This purchase highlights the rapid development that Quest has been undertaking and will provide the vendor and its growing customer foundation e-mail archiving capabilities for which demand is accelerating. Over the last few years Quest has been quietly expanding its total systems management capabilities. The company started off by supplying one of the best known and most effective database and application management solutions, a technology that became widely deployed. It then sought to build and acquire more generic infrastructure systems management capabilities which have helped increase its customer base considerably.
So successful has this expansion been that today its overall infrastructure management tools account for the largest proportion of its revenues. The solutions available are targeted to automate and secure the daily administration of platforms such as Microsoft Active Directory and Exchange along with more generic Windows management. In addition Quest provides specialist solutions covering the complex tasks associated with platform migration and the integration of complex heterogeneous environments.
The addition of AfterMail to the portfolio will see Quest spend an initial $14.7 million, rising to around $30 million, within three years, subject to performance based targets being realised. This could be a valuable addition as AfterMail, which is based in New Zealand, will significantly enlarge the e-mail archiving platforms supported by Quest. Currently Quest has archiving capabilities available for Microsoft Exchange whilst AfterMail will add capabilities that cover Novell GroupWise and IBM Lotus Notes along with Sendmail and other SMTP-based systems.
Many organisations are now under a variety of outside pressures from regulatory authorities to ensure accurate reporting, almost on demand, on the use of electronic mail systems on an expanding variety of issues. Intelligent e-mail archiving is rapidly becoming a defacto requirement. The expansion of platform coverage will ensure that Quest’s solutions will appeal to a large potential customer base in business critical areas.
Compliance and governance are matters that will be at the forefront of IT management for the foreseeable future. It is apparent that Quest Software plans to be amongst the front runners in providing straightforward solutions to these high level, highly visible customer demands. It is my opinion that Quest is destined for big things.