CA's Netegrity Buy Brings New Potential, Old Doubts


The $430 million purchase will strengthen CA's eTrust Identity and Access Management product portfolio by adding Netegrity's identity management and federated identity management tools.

Having identity-centric security technology that protects interconnected Web services and business partners is key to EIM, which is the melding of CA's IT management, storage and security ambitions, said Ken Cron, interim CEO at CA, Islandia, N.Y.

How the acquisition of Waltham, Mass.-based Netegrity will help further Cron's plan to increase CA's indirect sales to 30 percent from 10 percent remains less clear. CA officials won't comment on the vendor's channel plans for the Netegrity technology until the acquisition is complete, in about 90 days.

Netegrity officials said CA will gain Netegrity's worldwide base of consultant and technology partners. However, Netegrity acknowledged the majority of its sales are made via its direct-sales force.

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Also entering the mix is Sun Microsystems, which last week launched a competitive identity management program targeting Netegrity SiteMinder customers. Key to the offering is a tool that automates migration from Netegrity SiteMinder to Sun Java System Access Manager.

Buying Netegrity sharpens CA's edge against competitors in the identity management space, such as Novell and Oblix. But despite the fullness of EIM, the company may have a difficult time winning over the channel. Many resellers said they are watching to see if CA leverages the purchase in a channel-friendly way.

Todd Pekats, national director of strategic alliances for CompuCom Systems, a Dallas solution provider, said CompuCom is in a wait-and-see mode until it's clear just how the acquisition will benefit the channel. But, Pekats said, experience tells him that "in most cases, products in this particular category of CA [security] are usually driven into the channel."

Michael Stiles, senior engineer at Skyway Computer Solutions, Murphy, N.C., said he has satisfied Netegrity customers but avoids selling CA products because of its reputation as a direct seller.

Walter Prophet, account executive at USmax, a CA partner in Gambrills, Md., said based on CA's history as a direct seller, he will scrutinize any promises from CA to help resellers benefit from the acquisition. "Actions speak louder than words," he said.