Unisys Corp [UIS] is building up its identity management services capabilities with the acquisition of the security and identity management services business of struggling security consulting firm ePresence Inc [EPRE] for $11.5 million in cash.
Pennsylvania-based Unisys has highlighted identity management as one area of IT security where government and commercial sector clients are likely to grow spending over the next few years.
It is an increasingly competitive marketplace occupied by a number of technology specialists such as VeriSign Inc [VRSN], RSA Security Inc [RSAS] and Netegrity Inc [NETE], although Unisys’ closest rival in this space is IBM [IBM] Global Services.
Identity management software and services are designed to help CIOs and IT directors manage user identities and control access to internal and external applications. They tackle problems such as expired user accounts, which may be upwards of 60% of all accounts in corporate systems, rendering companies vulnerable to security breaches. It is predicted that sales of security management software, which includes identity management offerings, will grow 30% annually to $2 billion in 2006.
Unisys already integrates identity management systems such as smart cards, biometrics, public key infrastructure and software tools for identity management, such as Microsoft Active Directory and Microsoft Identity Integration Server.
Massachusetts-based ePresence offers consulting and integration services around security and identity management systems, and can outsource the administration and operation of identity management technologies such as single sign-on, directory services and secure portals.
Unisys’ acquisition of ePresence excludes the target company’s cash resources and its ownership in Switchboard Inc, a provider of online advertising services and internet-based yellow pages. Both companies were formerly part of Banyan Worldwide, which floated them three years ago. ePresence said that its cash and marketable securities were worth $44.2 million as of September 30, 2003. Some 90 ePresence employees will transfer to Unisys as part of the deal, which is expected to close during the fourth quarter.
Following the sale of its assets to Unisys, ePresence is planning to go into liquidation following a series of disappointing financial results.
In the third quarter ending September 30, 2003, ePresence made a net loss of $1.3 million on revenue that fell 23% to $8.2 million. Revenue from ePresence’s services business decreased 45% to $4.1 million, with the remaining $4.1 million sales coming from Switchboard.
Unisys is considering further acquisitions in the security services space.
This article was based on material originally published by ComputerWire