Novell Aims for Diversity with e-Security Buyout

Novell adds a significant player to its diversification effort with the $72 million purchase of e-Security.

Novell bought security event management vendor e-Security April 19 in a $72 million cash deal. E-Security, based in Vienna, Va., is best known for its Sentinel 5 Security Event Manager.

Executives for both companies say that the acquisition is a natural fit.

"Novell has a very well respected identity management product and our architecture and theirs tie together very well," explained Reed Harrison, chief technology officer of Novells Security and Compliance business unit.

Harrison is the former CTO and a founder of e-Security. He noted that the companies products already can work together well, and that the acquisition of e-Security will mean that the products will be integrated more completely.

He said that Novells Identity and Access Management products are very user-centric, while e-Securitys products are device-centric.

The combination should give companies a much more complete view of their security situation than can currently be provided by any other company, Harrison said.

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According to Richard Whitehead, director of product marketing for Novells Systems, Security and Business Management business unit, the move to buy e-Security fills a need that his company had identified some time ago.

"The need to have a comprehensive security and compliance view is something our customers have been needing and wanting," Whitehead said.

"As we worked with e-Security, we discovered that they also had the same vision and the same needs," Whitehead explained.

"It was a match made in heaven. It was a comprehensive security and compliance view across the whole business, not only with government regulations but with corporate governance," he said.

"Its like peanut butter and chocolate. Each is great, but theyre better together," Whitehead said.

Whitehead noted that the combination of Novell and e-Security technologies will result in capabilities that simply arent available from other companies.

"In these compliance and corporate governance situations its up to the chief security officer to monitor whats going on in their environment," Whitehead said. "The process becomes error prone, and its not real-time."

"Well be the first to bridge the gap between the identity and security systems," Whitehead said. "E-Security has real-time monitoring and management."

So far, the acquisition is getting positive reviews.

"I like the acquisition," said Burton Group vice president Phil Schacter. "I think its a conscious sign that Novell is serious about its diversification, but understanding that identity is part of a larger security strategy. Novell can move into security management in a stronger way."

Schacter is the Group Service Director of Security and Risk Management Strategies at the Burton Group, which is based in Midvale, Utah.

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Schacter also thinks that the e-Security deal could hold a lot for the future of Novell.

"The other aspect that could play out for them is the larger management space. They already have a play in resource management space with their Zen works," he said.

"Theyll be competing with companies like Computer Associates," Schacter added. "This is the opening move in a larger chess game."

Novells Whitehead said that e-Security will retain its own identity, and that Sentinel would continue to be sold as a stand-alone product.

He said that the company would stay in its Virginia offices and that the employees would be retained.

Harrison, meanwhile, thinks the move is a great opportunity for e-Security. "It gives us reach and resources of several thousand employees," he said.

The purchase of e-Security closed April 19, and the first shipments of e-Security products under the Novell banner will begin immediately.

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Wayne Rash

Wayne Rash

Wayne Rash is a freelance writer and editor with a 35 year history covering technology. He’s a frequent speaker on business, technology issues and enterprise computing. He covers Washington and...