Response Networks, OpenService Merge

The new firm, Open, will aim to consolidate security management and network management functions within IT.

Predicting a consolidation of security management and network management functions within IT, Response Networks Inc. and OpenService Inc. on Tuesday announced that they have merged.

The two privately held firms, which would not put a value on their merger deal, had already begun integration of their respective products under a strategic partnership they struck earlier this summer.

"We were both confronted by customers who had a need for both solutions from a single source," said Ted Joseph, former CEO of Response Networks and CEO of the combined firm, now called Open. "We see more and more buyers are now responsible for both the network management side of the house as well as security management. Cisco--an investor in Response–validated they saw the convergence occurring now and in the future," added Joseph.

As part of their earlier integration effort, Response Networks and OpenService have already allowed Response Networks Pulsar xSP service level management and its NerveCenter correlation engine to share information with the OpenService SystemWatch tool, said Phil Hollows, vice president of product marketing at Open, which will be headquartered in Westboro, Mass.

"We have data flowing between all three applications in production. Now we are building on that customer experience to get to the next level," he added. That integration level will focus on product integration, and it is expected to be completed by years end.

SystemWatch collects and normalizes data from firewalls, anti-virus programs, intrusion detection systems, and it includes an agent that runs on CheckPoint firewalls and Nokias IPSO platform. NerveCenter performs data collection and historical analysis. They complement each other by allowing IT operators to "pull it all together and get a total view into the IT ecosystem to see how security applications are functioning and how theyre managing the network periphery; how the network is running behind the DMZ and how the applications are performing. When an event happens, no matter what, we can quickly understand whats happening where and why and whos suspected and what the potential financial impact may be," said Hollows.

Open will also continue to market the tools independently of each other, Joseph said.

Combining both companies will not immediately create a profitable entity. Joseph anticipated that the combined firm will pursue an additional round of venture funding in about six-to-nine months, although Joseph asserted that the firm is several months away from achieving break-even status.

This is the second transaction Response Networks has completed this year. In January it announced the acquisition of AperServ Technologies Inc., which provided Service Level Agreement (SLA) management services.

The combined companies have about 550 customers.