Quest Tastes Life in the FastLane
Joining the ranks of Entevo Corp. and Mission Critical Software, FastLane Technologies Inc. has been swallowed by other management vendors. Unlike Entevo and Mission Critical, who were bought by network management companies with complimentary products, FastLane (www.fastlane.com
) was bought by a company in a different systems market.
Database management software vendor Quest Software Corp. (www.quest.com) is buying directory management vendor FastLane Technologies for a combination of stock and cash.
FastLane, a private company, offers directory management and migration products for Windows NT/2000 and Novell NDS directories. Quest creates management tools for Oracle databases and accompanying applications. FastLane’s core competency is in the Windows space; Quest is focused primarily on Unix platforms.
According to David Waugh, vice president of marketing at FastLane, Quest has much to gain from FastLane. He says 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 its reach into the market. Microsoft previously lent a hand to FastLane when solving technical issues, giving it expertise in solving Windows problems.
While Quest’s core market is Oracle customers running Unix, Oracle does a lot of business on Windows NT. With Windows NT experience in-house via FastLane, Quest has a stronger story among Windows NT customers.
FastLane, too, may be able to gain from Quest’s experience in the Unix world by moving on to LDAP directories. "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 the cross-platform dreams a reality.
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 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 for the acquisition to be finalized. Waugh says 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.