Symantec to buy Altiris

The acquisition will give Symantec new CMDB and management services

Symantec will acquire Altiris, a maker of asset management software for mobile devices and other hardware, for US$830 million (NZ$1.2 billion), say the companies.

Symantec says it will merge technology from Altiris into its endpoint security products, which deal with compliance, security and backup issues. Altiris, which is based in Lindon, Utah, also produces software that tracks cost and maintenance issues for hardware such as desktops, servers and mobile devices.

The acquisition will give Symantec new opportunities to sell compliance and management software, says James Socas, senior vice president of corporate development at Symantec. "We think there's a convergence between the security piece of end-point management and the systems management piece, which has been Altiris's focus," he says. "Our customers have been increasingly asking us to bring those parts together."

With the combination of Symantec's security software and the Altiris configuration management database (CMDB) capabilities, Symantec customers will be able to automatically find and fix systems that are not securely configured, he adds.

When the acquisition is completed, Symantec will create a new business unit that will sell the Altiris software. The company has not yet decided whether it will keep the Altiris brand, Socas says.

Altiris stockholders will receive US$33 per share of common stock. The deal, which should close in the second calendar quarter of this year, is subject to approval by Altiris stockholders and regulators.

Symantec will probably eliminate only a small number of redundant positions as a result of the acquisition, and the company plans to retain Altiris's Lindon offices, says Socas. Currently, Altiris employs about 1,000 people.

The acquisition will give Symantec new CMDB and management services with which it can compete with vendors such as IBM, Hewlett-Packard and BMC Software, says Jon Oltsik, a senior analyst with the Enterprise Strategy Group. "That's an area that the enterprise market is really embracing, but that's not an area where they were playing very well," he says.

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Tags managementcompliancesymantecAltiris

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