Likewise Software has sold its Active Directory (AD) Bridge assets Likewise Open and Likewise Enterprise, to BeyondTrust, in order to focus its attention on the identity and storage software markets. The move by Likewise leaves the market with four main competitors: BeyondTrust, CA, Centrify, and Quest Software. The Likewise AD Bridge portfolio is competitive and has reached a level of maturity that offers BeyondTrust the opportunity to build out the features of its own offerings. The surprise move by Likewise raises two questions:
Is the AD Bridge market reaching customer saturation?
Not yet. The Likewise AD Bridge portfolio was full-featured and competitive. The introductory growth channel, open software offerings followed by enterprise support and licensing, has been adopted by Centrify and Quest, while BeyondTrust and CA have each leveraged their security strengths. Additional development and growth is coming in the OEM and embedded markets, and in the privileged account management space (note CA’s entry to the market, as well as BeyondTrust’s historical strength). However, Likewise saw a larger opportunity in the storage market and used the sale of the AD Bridge assets to accelerate future development there. Likewise’s identity management heritage will serve its interests well from a resource management perspective.
Will AD Bridge offerings remain a niche, or become a springboard for newer capabilities?
AD Bridge extends the reach of directory services to simplify and normalize authentication and authorization into the Unix arena. AD Bridge also influences Privileged Account Management capabilities, and puts BeyondTrust in a very good position to leverage the strengths of its current offerings and expand them with the broader portfolio. This may influence vendors like Centrify to expand and enhance their management capabilities. Another opportunity is to extend authentication, authorization, and management to cloud-based resources. This is something that Likewise is poised to exploit, with or without its AD-related offerings.
Don’t expect a tsunami of change to disrupt the AD Bridge market; do expect the remaining vendors to bolster their offerings. BeyondTrust’s presence and strengths in security and virtualization management will be augmented with the addition of its newly acquired PowerBroker Identity Services to its portfolio. And, the competitive motions are emerging, with Centrify’s announcement of a trade in/up plan for Likewise customers.
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