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InfoQ Homepage News HP/Mercury Acquisition: Commentary

HP/Mercury Acquisition: Commentary

In January, Mercury acquired Systinet, adding SOA products and expertise to their well-known testing tools and lesser known suite of products for "business technology optimization" (BTO), a term coined by Mercury to describe their approach on aligning IT with business needs. Mercury paid 105 million USD for Systinet.

The acquisition of Mercury by HP, in turn, is much larger — a $4.5 billion deal, with a nice 33 percent premium for Mercury shareholders. Obviously, HP is interested not only in Systinet's products, but in the BTO and testing tools as well. Anne Thomas Manes, Research Director with Burton Group, told InfoQ she believes the Mercury product set fills a pretty big gap in the HP product portfolio, and there's not too much overlap. But she also had some concerns: "HP is not known for incorporating software acquisitions especially well. HP has hundreds of overlapping products that don't work together very well. Mercury has the same problem," she said. In her opinion, the Systinet division's platform is still the best SOA governance solution available.

Among those who will probably not agree with this statement are two of Systinet's competitors: Infravio and Software AG. "HP, Mercury and Systinet provide a strong solution for governance, but is weighted heavily towards centralized IT and control of IT systems," said InfoQ SOA editor Miko Matsumura, who also happens to be VP of Technology Standards at Infravio. "As an independent vendor of SOA Governance Registry Repository, Infravio's solution becomes even more important for enabling federated organizations to achieve business agility."

Software AG's Ivo Totev, Vice President, Product Marketing crossvision believes there are only two globally available SOA management and governance solutions: Systinet and CentraSite from Software AG and Fujitsu. "Our customers want choice — that's why we sincerely hope the repeated acquisitions of Systinet will not have negative impact," Totev said.

Systinet not only provides a registry/repository solution, but also a very advanced Web services stack for both Java and C++. It will also be interesting what will become of these under the new stewardship.

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