Vision Solutions Acquires Enforcive, Plans Strong Security Play Based On IBM Power-Based Servers

Vision Solutions acquired Enforcive Systems for an undisclosed sum this month, giving solution providers in the IBM Power-based server business a new, larger partner for storage, security, and compliance offerings.

The acquisition of Enforcive Systems, a Hackensack, N.J.-based developer of IT security and compliance management solutions by Irvine, Calif.-based Vision Solutions, which develops business resilience technology for IBM Power Systems, also gives those solution providers new tools to help expand their business to non-Power platforms.

Vision Solutions used to be known in-part for its Double-Take data protection software, but early this year sold Double-Take to Boston-based Carbonite to better focus on expanding its business in the IBM Power-based business, said Bob Johnson, Vision's executive vice president of sales.

[Related: Carbonite Acquires Double-Take In Bold Move To Add High Availability, Data Migration To Its Data Protection Line]

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Before its acquisition of Enforcive, Vision Solutions had three major product lines for the IBM Power-based platforms: MIMIX real-time data replication for high-availability and disaster recovery for IBM iSeries and IBM AIX environments, and iTERA high-availability and disaster recovery for small and midsized businesses on IBM iSeries servers.

Enforcive brings Vision Solutions its first security play in the Power business, Johnson told CRN.

"Enforcive's heritage is in the mainframe and Power system business," he said. "The company has just started getting involved in open systems. And while our focus will be on Power, we won't end development of the open systems products. Our focus will continue to be on Power."

Even so, Johnson said, the acquisition of Enforcive will give channel partners who have had strong IBM Power-based businesses an opportunity to do more in non-Power environments.

"Our Power customers have open systems as well," he said. "Partners will use this to introduce Enforcive to the open systems market."

Vision Solutions' focus on the Power market will continue despite the continuing gradual decline of sales of IBM Power-based servers and mainframe, Johnson said. "We view the Power market as a positive place to be," he said. "We're growing our business at single digits. But we're layering in adjacent technology like security, and so we'll see growth."

The IBM Power-based servers are seen as a much more secure platform than the more commonly-deployed Windows-based servers, Johnson said. However, he said, that does not eliminate the need for add-on security capabilities.

"There is a need for security in Power, but it's different than for non-Power environments," he said. "You don't hear about a lot of security breaches in the Power platform. Most security issues are not from outside the business. They're inside mistakes. IBM can take care of issues with its operating systems, but users need help in other areas like policy compliance."

Furthermore, Johnson said, Power-based servers are usually the most important servers inside an organization because of the applications run on them. "But customers often have to move data from Power to industry-standard servers to communicate with users," he said. "So they need security, including the ability to encrypt data as it's passed to other servers, or for compliance, or for certain industry requirements like healthcare."

Vision Solutions' acquisition of Enforcive is good for both vendors and their partners, said Ron Venzin, a partner at Focal Point Solution Solutions Group, an Ellenton, Fla.-based solution provider and channel partner to Vision Solutions, Enforcive, and IBM.

Enforcive came out of Israel where it has a limited number of people, and Focal Point worked with the company to develop applications, Venzin told CRN.

"Vision has a lot of resources for development," he said. "I have a lot of respect for Vision's development team."

Enforcive was attractive because of its IBM iSeries-focused products, Venzin said. "But it also has cross-platform capabilities," he said. "We can tell customers that we can cover their entire security requirements with a single product."

The most important thing Vision Solutions can do with Enforcive is to make sure Enforcive continues to be evaluated as an enterprise product and not just as a Power or iSeries product, Venzin said. "Vision already has MIMIX Share, which is a very good enterprise product," he said. "Enforcive is a tremendous iSeries product. But let's face it: There's not a lot out there."

IBM iSeries has always had the best security built into their server, Venzin said. "We used to say, no one ever hacked the iSeries," he said. "And it was true. But in those days, iSeries servers were not connected to Intel servers or the rest of the world. Today, they are. So we need to be looking at database security, network security, and encryption of data at rest and in motion. There are more threats than ever. And people can get complacent."

Robert MacAdam, account representative at Midland Information Systems, an Apopka, Fla.-based solution provider and Enforcive and IBM iSeries and AIX channel partner, told CRN that Enforcive is his favorite vendor partner.

"Their technology is best-of-breed in security, compliance, and encryption," he said. "It's simple to install and implement, and we never get customer complaints. And we deploy it in x86 environments as well."

Enforcive can use the development and marketing resources of Vision Solutions to reach a wider audience through Vision's channel partners, MacAdam said. The acquisition also gives his company a chance to look again at Vision Solutions' offerings, he said.

"We were looking at offering Vision for data protection, and this acquisition helps," he said. "We already have customers running MIMIX. There is definitely synergy in customers what work with Vision and Enforcive who consider the integrity of their data to be very important."