Novell reaches the endpoint with Senforce acquisition

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Novell reaches the endpoint with Senforce acquisition

Open-source software maker and systems configuration manager Novell can add endpoint security to its list of offerings after announcing today that it has acquired Senforce Technologies.

"It’s really being driven by our customers," Richard Whitehead, director of product marketing at Waltham, Mass.-base Novell, told "Our customers are not only asking for it, they’re demanding it be part of their configuration management."

Financial terms of the deal, which will aid Novell's 30,000 worldwide customers with meeting compliance demands and preventing data loss, were not disclosed, Whitehead said.

Utah-based Senforce is the maker of the Endpoint Security Suite, now called Novell ZENworks Endpoint Security Management. The latest version features wireless security capabilities and an encryption component to safeguard files and folders stored on mobile devices, such as USB sticks and laptops.

Novell had partnered with Senforce in the month leading up to the acquisition, Whitehead said. He said the two companies decided to merge because both offered robust management platforms, Senforce's solution leveraged Novell’s eDirectory and Senforce's headquarters was located near Novell’s main engineering plant in Provo, Utah.

Before today’s announcement, Novell was best known in the security space for its homegrown identity management solutions, and its information- and event-management portfolios. It obtained the latter product set when it acquired e-Security last year for US$72 million.

In April, Novell and Honeywell announced they were teaming up to integrate Novell's identity management product into Honeywell's access control security platform.

Whitehead said the Senforce pick-up signals that IT consolidation is underway.

"We talk about this convergence, which is your identity management, systems and security management," he said. "People want to not only track the devices people are using, but also what they’re doing on those devices."

IDC analyst Chris Christensen agreed in a statement today announcing the acquisition.

"Management and security are rapidly converging as customers require mobile computing tools in an environment where both internal and external IT threats are on the rise," he said.

"Novell’s acquisition of Senforce…can help companies secure their networks and their data without slowing down their businesses."

With the acquisition, the US Army is now one of Novell's largest customers.

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