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Three acquisitions, two visions

By Adrian Lane

I had to laugh when I read Alan Shimel’s post “Where does Tipping Point fit in the post-3Com ProCurve”? His comment:

I found it insightful that nowhere among all of this did security or Tipping Point get a mention at all. Does HP realize it is part of this deal?

Which was exactly what I was thinking when reading the press releases. One of 3Com’s three pillars is completely absent from the HP press clippings I’ve come across in the last couple days. Usually there is some mention of everything, to assuage any fears of the employees and avoid having half the headcount leave for ‘new opportunities’. And the product line does not include the all-important cloud or SaaS based models so many firms are looking for, so selling off is a plausible course of action.

It was easy to see why Barracuda purchased Purewire. It filled the biggest hole in their product line. And the entire market has been moving to a hybrid model, outsourcing many of the resource intensive features & functions, and keeping the core email and web security functions in house. This allows customers to reduce cost with the SaaS service and increase the longevity of existing investments.

Cisco’s acquisition of ScanSafe is similar in that it provides customers with a hybrid model to keep existing IronPort customers happy, as well as a pure SaaS web security offering. I could see this being a standard security option for cloud-based services, ultimately a cloud component, and part of a much larger vision than Barracuda’s.

Which gets me back to Tipping Point and Alan’s question “Will they just spin it out, so as not to upset some of their security partners”? My guess is not. If I was king in charge, I would roll this up with the EDS division acquired earlier this year for a comprehensive managed security services offering. Tipping Point is well entrenched and respected as a product, and both do a lot of business with the government. My guess is this is what they will do. But they need to have the engineering team working on a SaaS offering, and I would like to see them leverage their content analysis capabilities more, and perhaps offer what BlueLane did for VMWare.

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