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Quest Acquires FastLane

Joining the ranks of Entevo Corp. and Mission Critical Software, FastLane Technologies has been swallowed by new economy consolodation. Database management software vendor Quest Software Corp. has announced that it will purchase directory management vendor FastLane Technologies Inc. for a combination of stock and cash.

FastLane (www.fastlane.com), a private company, offers directory management and migration products for Windows NT/2000 and Novell NDS directories. Quest (www.quest.com) creates management tools for Oracle databases and accompanying applications. FastLane’s core competency is in the Windows space, while Quest has focused primarily on Unix platforms.

David Waugh, vice president of marketing for FastLane, believes that Quest has much to gain from FastLane. He says that Quest hopes to leverage FastLane’s competency in NT to enter new markets. "Quest is interested in helping manage NT products like SQL Server, Exchange, and Active Directory. Waugh points out that these products present management issues similar to Oracle’s.

Quest also hopes to leverage FastLane’s business relationship with Microsoft to extend their reach into the market. Microsoft has previously lent their hand to FastLane when solving technical issues.

On the flip side, FastLane may be able to gain from Quest’s experience in the Unix world by moving on to LDAP directories and the like. "We looked at cross directory management a few years ago, and it made sense to stay with our competency in Windows," Waugh says. Now that FastLane has access to developers with Unix experience, they may be able to make their cross-platform dreams a reality.

In spite of the synergies between the developer teams, FastLane expects to remain fairly independent within Quest. It will retain its name, and be known as a fully owned subsidiary of Quest. Waugh says that Quest is aware of Fastlane’s strong brand identity with IT managers.

In addition, while there is synergy in product development, there is little concordance in product marketing. "They are separate business problems," Waugh says, referring to the functionality of Quest and FastLane, "Our products don’t compete."

Waugh believes it is useful to regard the acquisition as an investment, rather than a takeover or a merger. Quest intends to use its capital to extend and enhance FastLane’s products and markets.

Because FastLane is a private company, there is a shorter waiting period before the acquisition is finalized. Waugh says that the Securities and Exchange Commission requires only 21 days between filing and finalization, so Quest’s stockholders and management will decide when to take the reins.

Two other major domain migration vendors were involved in mergers earlier this year. Entevo was bought by BindView (www.bindview.com), and Mission Critical merged with NetIQ Corp. (www.netiq.com). - Christopher McConnell

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.

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