Sun to acquire Waveset

Sun Microsystems Inc. has signed an agreement to purchase identity management software company Waveset Technologies Inc. of Austin, Tex., Sun said Tuesday.

The acquisition will add Waveset’s line of network user identity and password management products to Sun’s identity management platform, the Java System Network Identity Services, Sun said. Sun did not disclose the purchase price for privately held Waveset in the all-cash deal, but said it will completed by the end of Sun’s fiscal second quarter in December.

Waveset’s signature product, Lighthouse, includes a number of components including Lighthouse Provisioning Manager, for managing user accounts, Password Manager, a product that lets users manage and update their own log-in passwords and Identity Broker, a product that enables companies to manage user profile data such as billing and contact information.

Sun has been working hard in recent months to develop its identity management portfolio, which was formerly grouped under the Sun ONE (Open Net Environment) heading. In June, the company unveiled new versions of its Directory Server and Identity Server products and launched a new tool that synchronizes user information between Sun’s platform and Microsoft Corp.’s Active Directory.

However, user provisioning, a term that describes the ability to create and manage user account and permission information, has been a weak spot for Sun, according to Gerry Gebel, an analyst at Burton Group.

The company covered that weakness in the past by partnering with companies such as Waveset and Thor Technologies Inc., which have provisioning products. By acquiring Waveset’s provisioning technology, Sun has filled one of the largest holes in its identity management portfolio, putting the company in a much better position to compete with other major players such as IBM Corp., Novell Inc. and Microsoft, Gebel said.

For Waveset, a venture-funded startup that was founded in 2000, the acquisition by Sun promises resources for future product development as well as access to a global sales and marketing organization for its products, he said.

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